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Rimantadine: A potential drug for COVID-19
  • Richard Njunge
Richard Njunge
Kabarak University
Author Profile


Background and purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome- Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) is a highly contagious disease that has infected more than 200,000 patients and led to more than 10000 deaths in 166 countries in less than four months. New medications are needed to combat this disease. Since the process of discovery, development and approval of new drugs is long, old drugs can be repurposed for treatment of COVID-19. Oseltamivir is used for management of COVID-19 and Influenza A. Rimantadine is an alternative drug to oseltamivir for management of influenza A. Therefore, it is possible that rimantadine can be used for management of COVID-19 as an alternative to oseltamivir. The purpose of the study is to verify the potential of rimantadine as a drug for COVID-19 Methods: The SARS-CoV2 nucleocapsid was downloaded from the Protein databank and the chemical structure of rimantadine downloaded from Pubchem. Molecular docking of the nucleocapsid as the receptor and rimantadine as the ligand was done using avogadro and chimera software. Prediction of pharmacokinetic properties was done using SWISSADME website while the toxicity properties predicted using the ProTox server. Results: The interactions between rimantadine and the SARS-CoV2 nucleocapsid involved conventional hydrogen bonding with threonine & asparagine; attractive charge interaction with aspartate and Pi-alkyl interaction with tryptophan. Rimantadine has high gastrointestinal activity, very few drug-drug interactions and is relatively safe. Conclusion: Rimantadine binds to the SARS-CoV2 nucleocapsid and can thus be used for management of COVID-19. Keywords: Rimantadine, COVID-19, SARS-CoV2, Oseltamivir

Peer review status:POSTED

23 Mar 2020Submitted to British Journal of Pharmacology
24 Mar 2020Assigned to Editor
24 Mar 2020Submission Checks Completed