Antiviral drug discovery: preparing for the next pandemic

Catherine S Adamson, Kelly Chibale, Rebecca J M Goss, Marcel Jaspars, David J Newman, Rosemary A Dorrington* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Clinically approved antiviral drugs are currently available for only 10 of the more than 220 viruses known to infect humans. The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has exposed the critical need for compounds that can be rapidly mobilised for the treatment of re-emerging or emerging viral diseases, while vaccine development is underway. We review the current status of antiviral therapies focusing on RNA viruses, highlighting strategies for antiviral drug discovery and discuss the challenges, solutions and options to accelerate drug discovery efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3647-3655
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number6
Early online date1 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2021


  • Antiviral Agents/chemistry
  • Biological Products/chemistry
  • COVID-19/drug therapy
  • Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/chemistry
  • Drug Discovery/methods
  • Humans
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors/chemistry
  • Pandemics/prevention & control
  • RNA, Viral/antagonists & inhibitors
  • SARS-CoV-2/chemistry
  • Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry


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