There have been clear achievements in the management of COVID-19 pandemic: vaccines have reduced severe cases and positive cases can be quickly detected. But what happens to people that get infected and develop a severe form of the disease? What happens when there is a new variant that cannot be fought with vaccines? In these cases, the options we have are rather scarce and expensive. DevsHealth* and Fundació Lluita contra la Sida i les Malalties Infeccioses have started a joint project to design new molecules aimed against SARS-CoV-2, which will provide effective and affordable treatments and reduce the progression of the disease and severe cases. The joint project will allow both parties to use DevsHealth DeepTech processes to design new candidate molecules, as well as the expertise in drug validation and evaluation provided by Fundació. This will increase the success rates and efficacy of the future drugs against SARS-CoV-2.
At the onset of the pandemics, treatments were not aimed at stopping the viral infection, but only tried to control the worst sympthoms, such as inflamation or lack of oxygen, as an emergency treatment for patients arriving to hospitals. After some time, we now have some drugs available against for COVID-19. Even if these drugs are a step forward in the right direction, none of them has changed the current paradigm in the treatment of the disease. Their main drawbacks are an impractical administration which cannot be used outside of hospitals, or a lack of effectiveness. Having an easy to administer and effective drug would really change the course of the pandemic.
DeepTech and health R&D, together against COVID-19
DevsHealth and Fundació have joined their expertise to develop and test new antiviral molecules as a novel treatment against COVID-19.
The first phase of the project, developed by DevsHealth, will focus on designing several candidate molecules using computer simulations. «Based on the structure of some of the key proteins in the infection and reproduction cycles of SARS-CoV-2 and thanks to our technology based on Artificial Intelligence, we will develop new molecules that bind to those essential proteins blocking the functions of the virus», explains Alfons Nonell-Canals, CEO and cofounder of DevsHealth. Once we have a set of candidate molecules, we will start the second phase of the project, where each molecule will be tested for safety and effectiveness against the infection, and we will go through all the pre-clinic phases in the development of the new drug.
The ideal molecule
During the development of the new treatment, we will focus on those molecules that can be administered orally and whose secondary effects are minimal. Furthermore, seeking the best impact on managing the pandemic, we will look for activity against different variants of SARS-CoV-2 and even against other coronaviruses.
*DevsHealth is a DeepTech company working in the development of technologies based on Artificial Intelligence, data analysis and quantum technologies applied to the development of new anti-infectious treatments, wether antivirals or antibiotics.