Viruses have been emerging as a public health threat to mankind due to epidemics of novel Coronavirus-19 (SARS-CoV-2 or nCoV-19), Zika, Ebola, Influenza, HIV, Dengue etc (Wu F, Zhao S, Yu B, et al. 2020). WHO enlisted the viral diseases as public health emergencies like SARS-CoV-2, Lassa virus (LASV), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHV), Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Novel corona virus (nCoV-19), Marburg virus (MARV), Ebola virus (EBV), Dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), Influenza virus (IAV/IBV), Hendra virus (HeV), Nipah virus (NiV), Riftvalley virus (RVFV), Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and Variola virus (VARV) etc. Recently, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been declared global health emergency by WHO.(https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/en/).
Despite the extremely high mortality rate through epidemics/pandemics of viruses, the designing of effective antivirals is still a challenge. Various efforts have been taken by scientists to develop antivirals but periodic emergence of novel viral pathogens is a challenge. As for the majority of such viruses, there are no antiviral drugs or vaccines available. However, continuous designing of new antivirals or updation of already developed ones can be critical for global human health. Thus, computational interventions would be of great help in this area (Blair and Cox 2016).
Thus, in this regard we developed the first dedicated platform for antivirals like chemicals, drugs (novel as well as repurposed drugs) named “DrugRepV” available freely at (https://bioinfo.imtech.res.in/manojk/drugrepv/) . It is a complete manually curated encyclopedia of antivirals includes:
1. Biological, chemical, clinical, and structural information of antivirals including laboratory examined chemicals, novel and repurposed drugs.
2. It contains 8485 entries of antiviral from 23 viruses and 360 articles.
3. It is the first comprehensive manually curated database for chemicals and drugs experimentally tested against epidemic viruses.
4. Apart from biological, chemical and structural information it also incorporates details of clinical trials, (sub-)category, targets of antivirals, taxonomy, etc.
5. This database is also hyperlinked to Drugbank/ChEMBL/PubChem, WHO, Clinicaltrials.gov, etc To make the database more user-friendly, we have incorporated the easy browsing by virus, drugs, chemicals, assay, taxonomy, clinical trials, PubMed, etc.
6. The user can search the database by “search” option.
In the era of emerging and reemerging viruses and genetic variants (most common in case of RNA viruses) it is important to discover effective antiviral agents. The important characteristic of “DrugRepV” that it also contains information of repurposed drugs as it holds a promising alternatives in the emergence of viruses such as SARS Coronavirus-2 (Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, et al. 2020), Zika (Xu et al. 2016), Ebola (Sakurai et al. 2015), Influenza, Nipah, Dengue, Japanese encephalitis (Boldescu et al. 2017), Chikungunya, Hepatitis (Chen and Rice 2015) etc. that pose serious public health concern globally. Further, the repurposing of a drug cost an average of $300 million and 6-7 years. In this endeavor, we have developed “DrugRepV”, the first dedicated one-stop solution for the antivirals against emerging and re-emerging like SARS Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), influenza H1N1, Zika, Ebola, etc.