One potential strategy against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind the disease COVID-19 and a worldwide pandemic, is to use old drugs in new ways. This approach is called drug repurposing and can cut the time it takes to develop U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs from as long as 10 to 15 years to just 1 to 2 years. To further reduce this timeline, NCATS created a new resource for scientists, the OpenData Portal, to openly and quickly share COVID-19-related drug repurposing data and experiments for all approved drugs.
NCATS researchers developed the portal by using SARS-CoV-2-related assays to screen over 10,000 compounds, including the NCATS Pharmaceutical Collection of nearly 3,000 approved drugs, for their activity against the virus. The resource includes information on assays (tests), protocols for using the assays, drug targets, mechanisms of drug action and screening assay data. These data, which include positive and negative results, can be viewed, sorted, searched and exported from the portal website. Screening data are uploaded to the website as they become available. All data on the site come from NCATS-validated SARS-CoV-2 assays.
The scientific community can use the data for a variety of drug repurposing activities, allowing them to formulate and test hypotheses, prioritize research opportunities and speed the search for effective therapies against the virus and the disease it causes.