SARS-CoV-2 RNA polymerase as target for antiviral therapy

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A new human coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 was identified in several cases of acute respiratory syndrome in Wuhan, China in December 2019. On March 11 2020, WHO declared the SARS-CoV-2 infection to be a pandemic, based on the involvement of 169 nations. Specific drugs for SARS-CoV-2 are obviously not available. Currently, drugs originally developed for other viruses or parasites are currently in clinical trials based on empiric data. In the quest of an effective antiviral drug, the most specific target for an RNA virus is the RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase (RdRp) which shows significant differences between positive-sense and negative-sense RNA viruses. An accurate evaluation of RdRps from different viruses may guide the development of new drugs or the repositioning of already approved antiviral drugs as treatment of SARS-CoV-2. This can accelerate the containment of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and, hopefully, of future pandemics due to other emerging zoonotic RNA viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number185
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 5 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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