AI (artificial intelligence) helps to find potential treatments, including drugs with new compounds available, Baricitinib is a chosen one.
British company Benevolent AI uses AI to detect existing drugs, effectively reducing the spread of nCoV, Vox reported on February 7. Scientists at the Korean pharmaceutical company Deargen also applied deep learning technology to search for antiviral drugs that could be used as a treatment. Meanwhile, US biotechnology company Insilico uses AI to detect new compounds. The company will synthesize and test 100 types of the most potential compounds.
Experts at Benevolent AI want to find a drug that has been previously approved and has the potential to stop the infection process. Based on the known chemical properties of nCoV, they use AI to search vast medical databases, including scientific literature.
The system offers many options. These options were then shortened and filtered out a potential drug called Baricitinib, commonly used to treat moderate and severe rheumatism. Experts say this drug could be studied as a potential treatment.
According to Ivan Griffin, co-founder of Benevolent AI, the company has not yet applied for a test in China but has contacted the manufacturers of the drug. He said Benevolent AI's research was short-lived and could not be done without huge data systems and artificial intelligence. However, the fact that AI filters out Baricitinib does not mean it will certainly be effective. Benevolent AI warns that this study should not be considered a medical recommendation but rather a goodwill and support.
Baricitinib is not the only drug that scientists have proposed. Researchers in China have asked to test at least 10 drugs as potential treatments, but none have been approved yet.
The use of AI in the fight against nCoV takes place in the context of technology becoming increasingly important to the health sector. Experts hope AI can help implement health care measures more effectively. However, the application of AI in the health sector also poses challenges, such as calculating errors, and poses new problems for drug management agencies.
Benevolent AI is working with the pharmaceutical companies Novartis and AstraZeneca. Finding potential treatments can be a long and costly process. They hope AI will help solve this problem.
Griffin said, AI brings great benefits. This technology can help scientists detect the relationship between diseases and symptoms, between drugs and their effects, and how they respond to treatment. AI helps people detect things that could be missed due to the large amount of biomedical information. With newly emerging and widespread diseases such as the Wuhan pneumonia, saving scientists a little time can also bring about significant changes.