Open Access

The need for a multi-level drug targeting strategy to curb the COVID-19 pandemic

George J. Kontoghiorghes1,*,Stella Fetta1,Christina N. Kontoghiorghe1
Postgraduate Research Institute of Science, Technology, Environment and Medicine, 3021 Limassol, Cyprus
DOI: 10.52586/5064 Volume 26 Issue 12, pp.1723-1736
Submited: 10 August 2021 Revised: 27 November 2021
Accepted: 01 December 2021 Published: 30 December 2021
*Corresponding Author(s):  
George J. Kontoghiorghes
Copyright: © 2021 The author(s). Published by BRI. This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Thousands of drugs, nutraceuticals and their combinations can be used to select candidate therapeutics for targeting SARS-CoV-2 and its symptoms in order to curb COVID-19. A comprehensive, multi-level strategy against COVID-19 should include drug targeting of biomolecules and biochemical pathways involved in the prevention and proliferation of the infection, and the fatal or serious symptoms following infection. Several drugs are routinely used in the treatment of different categories of seriously ill COVID-19 patients including tocilizumab, remdesivir and dexamethasone. The current risk/benefit assessment supports the emergency testing and approval of more drugs. The process for new drug selection could be based on the identification of one drug for one target, or of a multi-potent drug for many targets and drug combinations for one or more targets, that can cause a substantial reduction in the high mortality rate of COVID-19. Several drugs have been identified that can fit this potential role by targeting different stages of COVID-19 including baricitinib, molnupiravir and PF-07321332/ritonavir and also the combination of deferiprone with N-acetylcysteine for inhibiting the vicious circle of oxidative stress toxicity and endothelial cell damage. Most of these drugs are expected to be effective against all the SARS-CoV-2 variants including Omicron (B.1.1.529) and also the associated COVID-19 complications.

Key words

COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Drugs; Baricitinib; Molnupiravir; PF-07321332/ritonavir; Vaccines; Drug tar-geting; Health strategies

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George J. Kontoghiorghes, Stella Fetta, Christina N. Kontoghiorghe. The need for a multi-level drug targeting strategy to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2021. 26(12); 1723-1736.