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Novalead Pharma says 42 existing drugs can help in treating coronavirus patients

MUMBAI: Novalead Pharma on Tuesday said it has found that 42 existing drugs can be helpful in treating patients at different stages of coronavirus infection.

The conclusions of the startup, which is backed by Tata Capital Healthcare Fund, are based on a study of 2,100 approved drugs and 30 potential viral and human targets.

“The major advantage with this approach is that the drugs being approved are already proved to be safe for humans, are being actively manufactured and therefore can be immediately put to use in a very short time,” the company’s chief executive Supreet Deshpande said in a statement.

The Pune-based company, which is into the field of drug repurposing, deployed its computational technology for identifying existing drugs which may be potentially effective against the SARS-Cov2 virus (coronavirus) as well as for minimising the impact on the human body, as per the statement.

Till now, there is no drug or vaccine that has been developed against the coronavirus infection, a major reason for high number of fatalities across the world.

“The fight against COVID-19 is a race against time and we are deploying whole of our computational infrastructure and technology platform armed with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and uses Machine Learning (ML) techniques, along with intensive statistical modelling and simulations,” Deshpande said.

The company said that in the past, it has helped in developing drugs for diabetes and psoriasis.

“We have completed three phases of rational computational screenings and our discoveries so far include drugs that show promise as an effective treatment either by directly attacking the virus proteins or by empowering the human proteins to minimise its spread,” the company’s head of research Sudhir Kulkarni said.

He also said the company would continue with its research efforts and shortlist candidates who are at different stages of coronavirus infection, including those suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) stage.