Treatments of COVID-19: Old Drugs, New Tricks

COVID-19 is a global pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There is a huge worldwide effort underway to discover vaccines and new drugs, and to repurpose old drugs to treat this disease. This talk will discuss the drugs that are currently being used to treat COVID-19: remdesivir, chloroquine and the combination of lopinavir/ritonavir. These drugs are being investigated as part of the World Health Organisation’s ‘Solidarity’ international clinical trial. Remdesivir is an anti-viral drug with no other clinical use at present; lopinavir/ritonavir are used for treating HIV. Chloroquine and its related analogue hydroxychloroquine are anti-malarials discovered during one of the major global emergencies of the 20th century – World War II. After a brief introduction to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the viral life cycle, the structures and mechanisms of action of these drugs will be described.


Dr. Niamh O'Boyle

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin

Dr. Niamh O'Boyle is a qualified pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. She received her BSc(Pharm) and PhD degree from Trinity College Dublin, and subsequently was awarded a postdoctoral scholarship at University of Göteborg in Sweden investigate the allergenic activity of epoxides and epoxy resins. Niamh was awarded a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the School of Biochemistry & Immunology, TCD, working on 'Cancer, Tubulin and Free Radicals: New Therapy'. Following a period as assistant lecturer at the School of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Dublin Institute of Technology, she was appointed as assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at TCD in 2017. She runs several diverse research projects and is currently supported by a TCD Provost's PhD Project Award, CAMS-UK, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Science Foundation Ireland. Her research work is consistently published in high-quality international, peer-reviewed journals and she has been a co-applicant on two published patents. She also works as a locum pharmacist in community pharmacy.

Anna Codina, Ph.D.

Director Pharmaceutical Business Unit, Bruker BioSpin

Anna Codina, responsible of the NMR pharma market at Bruker, manages a portfolio of products designed to suit the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining Bruker, Anna worked for several pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, Genentech and Pharmhispania) which allowed her to develop skills in drug development, analytical chemistry, structure elucidation and reaction monitoring. During her post-doc, Anna studied protein binging by NMR at the LMB-MRC, Cambridge UK. Her PhD is also in protein NMR and from the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Full address: Bruker UK, Banner Lane, Coventry CV4 9GH, UK

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