IIT, Delhi comes up with AI model for Covid drug repositioning

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As part for the fighting the coronavirus pandemic, the IIT Delhi has come up with a computational Artificial Intelligence model for drug repositioning in Covid 19 treatment. Artificial Intelligence model means going through the available drugs and finding the drug that have the highest probability of success. Now the effectiveness of drugs is checked manually that takes a long time.

The IIT Delhi developed the new model in collaboration with IPGME&R Kolkata and INRIA, Saclay, Paris, France.

Several pharma companies and research institutes have started to develop vaccines. However, it is said that development of vaccines could take at least a year before it is approved. As such, the option left is to reposition/repurpose the existing drugs. Some repositioned drugs are Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Remdesivir and Dexamethasone.

The drug data base has a list of more than 100 approved antivirals. It is expensive and time consuming to conduct clinical trials of all these antivirals for the treatment of covid 19. It was at this juncture that the IIT Delhi developed the Artificial Intelligence model to select a few drugs from the data base. The drugs that have the most chance of success could be tested in this way, thus saving money and also time, the sources said.

The IIIT followed Drug Target Interaction prediction, which is a standard approach in computational drug repositioning. One example of repositioning of drug is that of Imatinibmesylate. This drug was originally developed as a treatment for leukemia and later repositioned to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

The AI model developed by the IIT computes the similarity between chemical structures of the drugs and similarity between the genomic structures of existing viruses and the novel Coronavirus. It then evaluates the historical information about the efficacy of the drugs on different viruses. Then the Ai selects the drugs that were successful in treating viruses that have a similar genomic structure to that of Coronavirus.

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