Oxford-based pharmatech company uses artificial intelligence to find drug against COVID-19

Laboratory technician Amelia Collette (R), head of quantitative pharmacology Martin Redhead (L) and protein scientist Simon Varzandeh work in the laboratory of British pharmatech company Exscientia at Oxford Science Park in Oxford, in southern central England, on April 24, 2020 as part of the company's joint initiative to test existing clinical molecules to find a treatment for the COVID-19 illness.

Scientists at Oxford-based pharmatech company Exscientia are hoping to find a drug against COVID-19 within a year, using artificial intelligence technology.

In mid-March, they received a set of 12,000 de-risked drugs (drug molecules and molecules that have been checked for human safety) from the Calibr Institute based in California.

The lab has selected four different viral targets, which are proteins from the SARS-CoV-2 and are checking if they are affecting the molecules.

Scientific coordinator Aude Echalier says that it is essential to consider the "small molecule drug route" as a vaccine may never be found.

(Source: AFP) 

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