Artificial Intelligence: AI Found Bariticinib As A Potential Treatment For COVID-19

November 18, 2020 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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The drug is helping elderly people survive COVID-19.

In July, we wrote about how researchers at BenevolentAI found that baricitinib, a drug used for rheumatoid arthritis developed by Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), could be used to treat COVID-19, the deadly virus disease afflicting the globe.

A study dated November 13 found that baricitinib can reduce the risk of death by Covid 19 in elderly people. (TNW)

Baricitinib is 71% effective

“Using AI we identified baricitinib as possessing anti-viral and anti-cytokine efficacy. We now show a 71% (95% CI 0.15-0.58) mortality benefit in 83 patients with moderate-severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia with few drug-induced adverse events, including a large elderly cohort (median age 81 years),” the abstract of the study says.

Scientists from Imperial College London and Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet conducted the study on patients at the University of Pisa in Italy and Albacete Hospital in Spain.

The period of the study was between mid-March and mid-April 2020. At the time, these regions were the global epicenters of the pandemic and suffering severe capacity constraints.

The researchers found that COVID-19 patients which were administered baricitinib had a 71% reduction in mortality, as compared to the control group which did not receive the drug.

Furthermore, of those patients which received baricitinib, only 17% expired or had to use a ventilator. This compared with 35% of the patients receiving only standard care.

“This is one of the first COVID-19 treatments to go from computer to clinic and laboratory,” said Imperial’s Professor Justin Stebbing. He is the study‘s co-lead author.

Though large-scale clinical trials are now evaluating these findings, optimistic announcements on a Covid 19 vaccine came in recent days.

COVID-19 vaccines show over 90% success

Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was strongly effective and reduced the risk of infection by 94.5%.

Earlier, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) announced preliminary results from its phase 3 trial for an mRNA vaccine. This had an efficacy of over 90%.

According to STAT, the company could be within days of filing for an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine. It has already collected the safety data necessary to apply to the FDA.

Related Story:   Baricitinib, An AI-flagged Rheumatoid Drug, Could Treat COVID-19

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