Rapid Repurposing of Drugs for COVID-19

Harnessing AI to find COVID-19 solutions in already approved drugs.

Project Budget*- $0.5M

Partner Co-investment* - $0.2M

Supercluster Co-investment* - $0.3M

Project Partners

Project Overview

The challenge presented by a novel viral pandemic like COVID-19 is it spreads around the world very rapidly. Fighting its spread by discovering, testing, and approving new drugs to treat it takes much, much longer.

New drugs can take 10-15 years and cost millions to be developed and deployed. While the first new vaccines for COVID-19 may be ready in 12 to 18 months, new drugs that treat COVID-19 will take much longer. Yet, both vaccines and therapeutics/treatments are needed: as flu shots have not eliminated the need for flu medicines, the same applies with COVID-19.

Project Raven is being led by Variational AI in partnership with adMare BioInnovations. The goal is to short-circuit the search for an effective, safe therapeutic/treatment for COVID-19 by using AI to analyze a wide variety of already approved drugs.

Harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) will allow Project Raven to look at all existing, approved drugs and make accurate predictions on whether they could be effective against COVID-19. This process is called drug repurposing and is common in the pharmaceutical industry.

Multiple repurposed drugs have already entered clinical trials, however, many have stumbled or outright failed. Clinical trials are expensive and resource-intensive, and only a limited number of drugs can be investigated at a given time, so ensuring that only high-probability repurposed drugs are tested is extremely important to prevent wasting limited and precious clinical trial slots.

Project Raven will develop a short list of drugs with a high probability of being effective against COVID-19. If suitable candidates are found, they could enter accelerated clinical trials in partnership with the pharmaceutical companies that own them.

*amounts at time of project selection

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