Dexamethasone identified as potential for treatment of COVID-19 ten weeks ago

AI VIVO, a company combining systems pharmacology and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate drug discovery, has announced that its platform identified dexamethasoneas having high potential for the treatment of COVID-19 in April 2020.

AI VIVO, a company combining systems pharmacology and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate drug discovery, has announced that its platform identified dexamethasoneas having high potential for the treatment of COVID-19 in April 2020.

The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone,has been part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing therapeutics that could be repurposed to help treat COVID-19. The drug, which is inexpensive and widely available, was shown to save the lives of seriously ill patients at a late stage of coronavirus. This is being viewed globally as a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus. On 16 April 2020, AI VIVO publicly named dexamethasone, along with four other drugs, as compounds most likely to be effective in treating COVID-19.

To identify the candidate drugs most likely to be effective in treating the disease, AI VIVO used samples from COVID-19 infected cells to build its model for the disease, which was then used to rank thousands of compounds. The AI VIVO prediction engine, which is powered by AI, took just 15 days to rank 90,000 compound models in order of efficacy and identified a shortlist of top candidate drugs in April.

AI VIVO’s ranking system is based on its unique phenotypic drug discovery methodology and does not rely on any prior knowledge or known information related to the disease or compounds. The company’s April announcement was the first output of its prediction engine and was followed by a wider list of 41 top-ranked candidates on 7 May that are currently in clinical trials for COVID-19. AI VIVO is tracking the clinical trials outcomes for these.

Dr Peyman Gifani, AI VIVO Founder and CEO (pictured), said: “We also believe there are combinations of other top-ranked drugs that with dexamethasone will be more effective than any single drug, and we are keen to share these combinations with pharma companies and clinical trial investigators to support the fight against COVID-19. We are expanding our interactions with government agencies and pharmaceutical companies to consider the top ranked drugs which have not yet been selected for trials but have the potential to make a real difference in the fight against COVID-19.”

AI VIVO has been in contact with various clinical trial investigators including the UK’s ACCORD programme to provide insights for selecting the best drug combinations systematically. AI VIVO now plans to release the name of other generic top ranked drugs that are not currently in clinical trials in order to help the fight against COVID-19. The list will be available on the AI VIVO website.

AI VIVO has not disclosed a number of proprietary top ranked compound candidates currently in phase II or phase III clinical trials for other indications. AI VIVO is contacting pharma companies who have developed these compounds to provide more information on why the compounds are top-ranked and how they might be used as single drugs and in combinations.

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