DM Intelligence selects 40 drugs to combat 2019-nCov

February 6, 2020

Facing with a massive public health crisis, the coronavirus outbreak, China is pushing its researchers to join the fight against the novel coronavirus.

DM Intelligence, an AI-Powered drug discovery company, has teamed up with the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease under Guangzhou Medical University (Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan's research group) and the school of life science of Sun Yat-sen University to find cure. Based on the 2019-nCoV Mpro study, scientists have selected 40 licensed drugs which may help treat novel coronavirus.

The process of coronavirus replication plays an important role in the life circle of virus. CoV main proteases (Mpro), which are key enzymes in viral gene expression and replication, is a validated therapeutic target for this indication. Protease inhibitors may block cleavage of the polymerase protein to inhibit viral RNA synthesis.

With the AI drug discovery platform, DM Intelligence screened the approved drugs as well as databases for high potency compounds and for experimental drugs, and selected 40 marketed drugs. The candidates include anti-HCV drugs Boceprevir, anti-HIV drugs like Darunavir and Abacavir, as well as antifungal medication Terbinafine.

It's worth mentioning that the conclusion was supported by other scientists. The research team of Li Lanjuan, a renowned Chinese epidemiologist, find two drugs—Arbidol and Darunavir—can effectively inhibit coronavirus. According to preliminary tests, in vitro cell experiments show that: at a concentration of 300 micromolar, Darunavir can significantly inhibit virus replication. Compared with the untreated group, the inhibition efficiency is 280 times. The expert suggested that darunavir be included in the National Health Commission's "Pneumonitis Diagnosis and Treatment Program for New Coronavirus Infection (Trial Version 6).

The Mpro is an attractive target for therapy. A joint research team of scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the the Chinese Academy of Sciences and ShanghaiTech University, led by Rao Zihe and Yang Haitao, has screened 30 existing drugs, biological active natural products and traditional Chinese medicines which may have thereapy effects on new coronavirus.

DM Intelligence will grant researchers who are working on the novel coronavirus treatment free access to drug discovery resources.

Figure 1. Examples of active substances that may have therapeutic effects on 2019 ncov