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Researchers developed AI tool to inform repurposing of drugs for future pandemic outbreaks

In order to battle future pandemics, a multinational team of researchers has developed an algorithmic tool that can detect existing drugs. The findings, published in the Cell Press journal Heliyon, suggest that public-health disasters may be addressed more rapidly. Being used in vitro data and other resources, the AI tool was able to model the SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggest various COVID-19 medications that are now available as possibly beneficial in combating a future outbreak. Drug repurposing tactics are an appealing and effective way of rapidly addressing possible novel therapies. RxCovea, a multidisciplinary collaboration of immunologists, biologists, chemists, data scientists, game theorists, geneticists, mathematicians, and clinicians, created the PHENotype SIMulator (PHENSIM). It replicates SARS-CoV-2 tissue-specific infection of host cells and then runs computer studies to find medications that may be repurposed. The study was funded by the Netherlands-Caribbean Foundation for Clinical Higher Education (NASKHO).

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