Skymount Medical and Louisiana State University (LSU) have commenced human studies on a unique combination of therapies for Covid-19 patients, known as SM-19. In vitro and in vivo assays conducted by the IIT Research Institute (IITRI) in Chicago showed significant efficacy in reducing viral load of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
The therapeutics were discovered using an artificial intelligence (AI) platform, DeepDrug, that reduces the time to drug discovery. The AI predicted up to 97% efficacy, which was confirmed by pre-clinical cell and animal results. The medications being investigated are already FDA-approved for other conditions, which will reportedly accelerate the availability of SM-19.
The SM-19 treatment was designed to be effective against several Covid-19 variants, decreasing viral load and reducing the duration of symptoms. The approach is to treat adult patients at the first sign of infection to avoid hospitalisation and eliminate ICU visits. The compassionate use studies began on August 10 in Europe and are expected to continue throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Brazil.
“Early animal testing was very promising. We are optimistic that the treatments will reduce extreme symptoms in humans and the need for hospitalisations,” said Dr Kishor M. Wasan, Co-inventor and Chief Medical and Scientific Officer for Skymount Medical. “These experimental outcomes provide a complement approach to the current Covid-19 vaccine strategy that is cost-effective, safe and accessible to patients.”
“The discovery of these medications came through a highly unique and novel process fusing AI with traditional wet lab pharmacology,” said Chris Galliano, Co-inventor and Chief Technology Officer of Skymount Medical. “The LSU DeepDrug team’s AI-based drug discovery platform has enabled us to target viral entry, fusion and replication and directly address symptoms using a time-saving drug re-purposing strategy.”
DeepDrug identifies and develops novel therapeutics. It was created by an interdisciplinary team of Louisiana State University researchers led by Dr Supratik Mukhopadhyay, Co-inventor and Associate Professor in the LSU Department of Computer Science.
The compassionate use study in Europe is a double blinded, randomised, multi-centre, controlled study to evaluate safety and efficacy of SM-19 compared to placebo in the treatment of Covid-19 positive adult patients.