Nelfinavir (Viracept) as a Candidate for SARS-CoV-2 Antiviral Drug

With the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in China, pneumonia caused by this new coronavirus has caused hundreds of deaths and even affected many countries around the world. However, there are still no drugs that show significant therapeutic effects. Through research on a variety of marketed small-molecule drugs, Creative Biolabs found that nelfinavir has a relatively ideal binding free energy and similarity to the ligand model. Therefore, we believe that nelfinavir may be a potential drug to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Pharmacodynamic Properties of Nelfinavir

Nelfinavir is a non-peptide competitive HIV protease inhibitor that interferes with the processing of viral gag and gagpol polyprotein products into viral enzymes and structural proteins. This interference will prevent the production of mature infectious virus particles in acute and chronically infected cells and effectively inhibit the development of disease. In the in vitro activity test, the inhibitory constant (Ki) of nelfinavir on HIV-1 protease is 1.7 nmol/L, and the average concentration of nelfinavir (IC95) that can produce 95% inhibition of virus replication is 59 nmol/L.

Molecular structure of Nelfinavir. Fig.1 Molecular structure of Nelfinavir.

Nelfinavir Assessment and Validation Services at Creative Biolabs

The protease (Mpro) or chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) is considered as a potential drug target against virus infection. Besides, these two sequences are relatively conserved among coronaviruses and which in SARS-CoV-2 are showing a similarity of up to 96% to severe acute respiratory tract disease (SARS). Previous studies indicated that Nelfinavir has excellent binding ability and inhibitory effect in the SARS-CoV model, indicating that it may also have good therapeutic performance for SARS-CoV-2. Creative Biolabs has devoted great attention to the pharmacological research and development of antiviral protease inhibitors. By analyzing the crystal structure of existing commercial drugs, we can help clients determine and evaluate whether Nelfinavir has potential as an effective and specific antiviral agent against SARS-CoV-2.

Our related drug development services can provide you with more detailed follow-up trial verification services. Our specialists are dedicated to offering the best services to support your drug discovery project. If you have any questions about our SARS-CoV-2 drug discovery services, you can contact us for more details.

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