Are new drugs being developed for COVID-19?
While trials are being conducted with treatments of known drugs, are there any new drugs in the pipeline that would target COVID-19 specifically?
Thanks for your question.
So far, there are no approved treatments for COVID-19. You are also right that most of the first drugs that are being tried were originally developed for other infections.
This includes malaria drugs like hydroxychloroquine and HIV drugs like lopinavir/r. A review of the evidence for these approaches is included in the ISDA guidelines linked here:
Some of the other research drugs are active (in the test tube) against a range of different viruses, including coronavirus. They include remdesivir which is now in UK studies.
Researchers are also looking for new drugs that will be specific for coronavirus, but the time to develop new drugs takes years and the new virus was only identified a few months ago.
Vaccines for coronavirus are all being developed specifically for the new strain. The linked page here already has dozens of proposed approaches: