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In Vitro Confirmation of COVID-19 Drug Candidates Done Using AI-based Screening Technology

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Apr 2020
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SOM Biotech (Barcelona, Spain) has announced the in vitro validation of three drug candidates as new therapies for the treatment of COVID-19. The three candidates inhibit the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 and therefore the replication of the virus. Clinical studies with the three candidates can be initiated immediately. SOM Biotech has applied its artificial intelligence-based screening technology (SOMAIPRO) to identify inhibitors of the 3CL proteases of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV viruses as potential candidates to treat COVID-19. The discoveries came as a result of the research conducted jointly by SOM Biotech and the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences led by Professor Dong-Hae Shin from Ewha Womans University in South Korea.

Within the three identified and validated drug candidates, one – Eravacycline – is an already approved drug. The second compound – Prexasertib – is in clinical development and the third one – Cynarine – is a natural compound used as a dietary supplement. Therefore, all three drugs can be repurposed to treat COVID-19 and the company is working on the fastest way to prove them in patients. A patent application has been filed to provide a method of use protection for the three compounds worldwide.

“We have joined forces with Professor Dong-Hae Shin from Ewha Womans University to combine our scientific and medical expertise to find new therapies for the treatment of COVID-19,” said Raul Insa, CEO, and Founder of SOM Biotech. “Thanks to our capabilities in screening molecules with our AI-based technology, we have validated active anti-coronavirus compounds. Thus, we look forward to the rapid development of these drugs to be able to provide patients with an effective and safe treatment against the COVID-19 as soon as possible”.

“We are very proud about working on promising COVID-19 treatments and contributing to finding effective, safe and fast solutions due to the importance of the current pandemic situation,” said Professor Dong-Hae Shin from Ewha Womans University. “We decided to start working with SOM Biotech as we are committed to tackling this COVID-19 pandemic leveraging on partners with innovative technologies and excellent know-how.”

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