Pharmacogenomics and COVID-19: clinical implications of human genome interactions with repurposed drugs

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The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has evolved into an emergent global pandemic. Many drugs without established efficacy are being used to treat COVID-19 patients either as an offlabel/compassionate use or as a clinical trial. Although drug repurposing is an attractive approach with reduced time and cost, there is a need to make predictions on success before the start of therapy. For the optimum use of these repurposed drugs, many factors should be considered such as drug–gene or dug–drug interactions, drug toxicity, and patient co-morbidity. There is limited data on the pharmacogenomics of these agents and this may constitute an obstacle for successful COVID-19 therapy. This article reviewed the available human genome interactions with some promising repurposed drugs for COVID-19 management. These drugs include chloroquine (CQ), hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), azithromycin, lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r), atazanavir (ATV), favipiravir (FVP), nevirapine (NVP), efavirenz (EFV), oseltamivir, remdesivir, anakinra, tocilizumab (TCZ), eculizumab, heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) regulators, renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors, ivermectin, and nitazoxanide. Drug-gene variant pairs that may alter the therapeutic outcomes in COVID-19 patients are presented. The major drug variant pairs that associated with variations in clinical efficacy include CQ/HCQ (CYP2C8, CYP2D6, ACE2, and HO-1); azithromycin (ABCB1); LPV/r (SLCO1B1, ABCB1, ABCC2 and CYP3A); NVP (ABCC10); oseltamivir (CES1 and ABCB1); remdesivir (CYP2C8, CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and OATP1B1); anakinra (IL-1a); and TCZ (IL6R and FCGR3A). The major drug variant pairs that associated with variations in adverse effects include CQ/HCQ (G6PD; hemolysis and ABCA4; retinopathy), ATV (MDR1 and UGT1A1*28; hyperbilirubinemia; and APOA5; dyslipidemia), NVP (HLA-DRB1*01, HLA-B*3505 and CYP2B6; skin rash and MDR1; hepatotoxicity), and EFV (CYP2B6; depression and suicidal tendencies).

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