Drug repositioning candidates identified using in-silico quasi-quantum molecular simulation demonstrate reduced COVID-19 mortality in 1.5M patient records

National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C)
Image Credit
National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C)

Read the latest N3C preprint now published in medRxiv by authors: Joy Alamgir, Masanao Yajima, Rosa Ergas, Xinci Chen, Nicholas Hill, Naved Munir, Mohsan Saeed, Kenneth Gersing, Melissa Haendel, Christopher Chute, Ruhul Abid.

Background: Drug repositioning is a key component of COVID-19 pandemic response, through identification of existing drugs that can effectively disrupt COVID-19 disease processes, contributing valuable insights into disease pathways. Traditional non in silico drug repositioning approaches take substantial time and cost to discover effect and, crucially, to validate repositioned effects. Methods: Using a novel in-silico quasi-quantum molecular simulation platform that analyzes energies and electron densities of both target proteins and candidate interruption compounds on High Performance Computing (HPC), we identified a list of FDA-approved compounds with potential to interrupt specific SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Subsequently we used 1.5M patient records from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative to create matched cohorts to refine our in-silico hits to those candidates that show statistically significant clinical effect. Results: We identified four drugs, Metformin, Triamcinolone, Amoxicillin and Hydrochlorothiazide, that were associated with reduced mortality by 27%, 26%, 26%, and 23%, respectively, in COVID-19 patients. Conclusions: Together, these findings provide support to our hypothesis that in-silico simulation of active compounds against SARS-CoV-2 proteins followed by statistical analysis of electronic health data results in effective therapeutics identification.

CTSA Program In Action Goals
Goal 1: Train and Cultivate the Translational Science Workforce
Goal 2: Engage Patients and Communities in Every Phase of the Translational Process
Goal 5: Advance the Use of Cutting-Edge Informatics