Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Coronaviruses have been thrust into the spotlight by the recurring novel human coronavirus infections following the 2003 SARS pandemic. In the years since the initial SARS outbreak, the arsenal to fight this virus family has been significantly increased by the rapid growth of coronavirus research. Among the potential viral drug targets, coronavirus 3C like proteases (3Cl) have emerged as the most popular drug target. A number of patented inhibitors with promising clinical potential have been developed via different methods of drug discovery, including virtual screening, natural product isolation and structure assisted rational drug design. This review serves as a summary of the progress in both the method of drug discovery and the related inhibitors against the coronavirus 3Cl protease.