AI Vivo, a UK-based company using artificial intelligence (AI) to help accelerate drug discovery, reports researchers have used its platform to pinpoint dexamethasone as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients. According to the company, the drug was shown to potentially save the lives of seriously ill patients suffering with the virus.
Dexamethasone, a low-dose steroid treatment, has been part of a large global trial, seeking existing therapeutics that could be repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients. AI Vivo reports the drug was shown to have favorable results when given to seriously ill patients with late-stage COVID-19.
To identify the candidate drugs most likely to be effective, AI Vivo researchers used samples from COVID-19-infected cells to build its model for the disease. They then used the cells to rank thousands of compounds.
The AI-powered prediction engine, according to the company, took just 15 days to rank approximately 90,000 compound models in order of efficacy. The team then identified a shortlist of top candidate drugs.
The AI Vivo ranking system is based on unique phenotypic drug discovery methodology. It reportedly does not rely on any prior knowledge or known information related to the disease or compounds.
Peyman Gifani, AI Vivo founder and CEO, said the discovery serves to validate the effectiveness of the company’s phenotypic approach to modelling diseases and the effects of drugs.
“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,” he said.
Gifani added that the company will continue to explore other therapeutic possibilities for the virus.
“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,” he said.
The company has opened up contact with several clinical trial investigators, including UK’s ACCORD program, to discover insights on how to systematically select the most effective drug combinations. The company announced it plans to release the names of other generic top ranked drugs that are not currently in clinical trials in order to help the fight against COVID-19.