What is it about?

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has affected human health and lifestyle around the world. To manage the pandemic clinically, new antiviral drugs must be developed to treat the infection. However, developing new drugs takes a very long time. One way to speed up this process is through virtual screening. In this process, computer simulations are used to screen small molecules as drug candidates. Since it is both fast and extremely accurate, many studies have made use of it to discover new drugs for the coronavirus disease. But, the suggested drugs are neither approved nor user-friendly. To address this issue, the authors of this paper virtually screened drugs that are either approved or undergoing trials. Using these drugs, they created an interactive online platform called “Shennong.” Shennong allows its users to search for drug and protein names and even shows them in 3D. Moreover, it doesn’t require one to install any special software. The novel platform created by the authors could not only help discover new antiviral drugs but also serve as an educational website for the wider public.

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Why is it important?

The novel coronavirus is highly contagious and often spreads through individuals with no outward symptoms. While vaccines can help protect against COVID-19, antiviral drugs are needed to treat the infection. KEY TAKEAWAY: The authors of this study created an online platform called “Shennong,” which allows users to look up drug names and their 3D displays. Shennong is a website for both finding new antiviral drug candidates and learning about them.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Systemic In Silico Screening in Drug Discovery for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) with an Online Interactive Web Server, Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, August 2020, American Chemical Society (ACS), DOI: 10.1021/acs.jcim.0c00821.
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