Albert-Laszlo Barabasi Publishes List of Potential Drugs to Treat COVID-19

By adapting the network-based toolset to COVID-19, CEU Visiting Professor at the Department of Network and Data Science Albert-Laszlo Barabasi and his Boston-based team have identified a list of drugs that are likely to be effective for treating COVID-19 patients.

In his latest study “Network Medicine Framework for Identifying Drug Repurposing Opportunities for COVID-19,” Barabasi and his team at the Network Science Institute in Boston confirmed that they have assembled a list of the most effective medications for treating the coronavirus. In order to understand the reaction of the COVID-19 molecule to possible medications, the team examined human and virus proteins and their connections to each other, and will use their findings towards producing new medicines.

The news was announced by Barabasi in a Facebook post on Thursday, which included a link to the study. In the post, Barabasi explained that “We applied three drug repurposing strategies, relying on network proximity, diffusion, and AI, each ranking approved drugs based on their likely efficacy for COVID-19 patients. While methodologies differ in their predictive power, combining them we get the best performance.”

The study found 81 candidates that showed promise for repurposing. “We validated the accuracy of our predictions using drugs currently in clinical trials, and an expression-based validation of selected candidates suggests that these drugs, with known toxicities and side effects, could be moved to clinical trials rapidly,” the study concluded. As Barabasi stated in his post: “We ordered the compounds to test them in human cells, and we hope the promising ones can go forward into clinical trials.”