SOM Biotech identifies three Covid-19 drug candidates

22 April 2020 (Last Updated April 22nd, 2020 06:45)

SOM Biotech has completed in-vitro analysis and identified three drug candidates that can be potentially used to treat Covid-19.

SOM Biotech identifies three Covid-19 drug candidates
The three candidates inhibit the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19. Credit: Masum Ali from Pixabay.

SOM Biotech has completed in-vitro analyses and identified three drug candidates that can be potentially used to treat Covid-19.

The three candidates inhibit the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, in turn targeting the virus’ replication.

SOM Biotech partnered with Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea for Covid-19 research.

The company’s artificial intelligence (AI)-based screening technology, SOMAIPRO, was used to discover the inhibitors of 3CL proteases of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. These inhibitors were intended to offer potential Covid-19 treatments.

Ewha Woman’s University professor Dong-Hae Shin said: “We are very proud about working on promising Covid-19 treatments and contributing to finding effective, safe and fast solutions due to the importance of the current pandemic situation.

“We decided to start working with SOM Biotech as we are committed to tackling this Covid-19 pandemic leveraging on partners with innovative technologies and excellent know-how.”

Of the three in-vitro validated candidates, Eravacycline is an approved drug while Prexasertib is currently in clinical development and Cynarine is a natural compound used as a dietary supplement.

All three drug candidates can be repurposed to treat Covid-19, said the company.

The company also filed a patent application for method-of-use protection for the three compounds globally.

SOM Biotech CEO and founder Raul Insa said: “We have joined forces with professor Dong-Hae Shin from Ewha Woman’s University to combine our scientific and medical expertise to find new therapies for the treatment of Covid-19.

“Thanks to our capabilities in screening molecules with our AI-based technology, we have validated active anti-coronavirus compounds. Thus, we look forward to the rapid development of these drugs to be able to provide patients with an effective and safe treatment against the Covid-19 as soon as possible.”

The company said that clinical studies of these drug candidates can be launched immediately.