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Using computers to develop drug cocktails for COVID-19

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Vaccines & Treatments

An international consortium of researchers led by Dr. Artem Cherkasov, professor in the department of urologic sciences and senior scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Centre and the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, and Dr. François Jean, associate professor in UBC’s faculty of science department microbiology and immunology, is receiving $2.1 million from CIHR to use artificial intelligence to search for SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors among known drugs. They will work to identify antiviral drugs that can work synergistically with antiviral therapy remdesivir to boost its effectiveness and block SARS-CoV-2, similar to the drug “cocktails” used in treating HIV and hepatitis C infections. This research will be performed at UBC FINDER, one of the largest university-based containment level 3 facilities in the world, founded by Dr. Jean.