COVID-19: combining antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatments

· 1 year ago · 589 views
COVID-19: combining antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatments

Both coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are characterised by an overexuberant inflammatory response and, for SARS, viral load is not correlated with the worsening of symptoms.1,2 In our previous Correspondence to The Lancet, 3 we described how BenevolentAI’s proprietary artificial intelligence (AI)-derived knowledge graph,4 queried by a suite of algorithms, enabled identification of a target and a potential therapeutic against SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; the causative organism in COVID-19). We identified a group of approved drugs that could inhibit clathrin-mediated endocytosis and thereby inhibit viral infection of cells (appendix). The drug targets are members of the numb-associated kinase (NAK) family—including AAK1 and GAK—the inhibition of which has been shown to reduce viral infection in vitro.5,6 Baricitinib was identified as a NAK inhibitor, with a particularly high affinity for AAK1, a pivotal regulator of clathrinmediated endocytosis. We suggested that this drug could be of use in countering SARS-CoV-2 infections, subject to appropriate clinical testing.

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