Long-awaited magic ball: The world is still waiting for a comprehensively effective drug against Covid-19
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Substances that are already approved as medicinal products can also work against Covid-19. The computer can help in the search for suitable candidates, as researchers at the University of Giessen are now showing.
UIn order to find a therapy against Covid-19 as quickly as possible, drugs that are already approved for the treatment of other diseases are being tested around the world. For this purpose, substances stored in active ingredient banks in the laboratory are usually examined to see whether they can inhibit SARS-CoV-2.
But there is another way, as Friedemann Weber’s working group from the Institute of Virology at the University of Gießen together with scientists from Great Britain has now shown: According to the university, the research team was able to identify two active ingredients as potential Covid-19 therapeutics.
Using artificial intelligence, the scientists have collected all the information about cellular proteins and signaling pathways that the coronavirus uses for its replication and created a network of relevant SARS-CoV-2 interactions. A computer-aided comparison with a drug database and the literature revealed 40 active ingredients that are already in clinical testing, as well as 160 new candidates. “Of the active ingredients that are known to be particularly well tolerated, two were ultimately confirmed in laboratory experiments to be highly effective against SARS-CoV-2,” said Weber. The research team has published the results in the journal Science Advances.