Machine Learning Techniques Revealed an Old Arthritis Drug That Helps Old People Survive COVID

Published on November 18, 2020
Image Credit: [Pexels/Dids]

Apparently there is an old arthritis drug that can reduce the risk of old folks dying from COVID-19.

BenevolentAI, a startup based in London, first noticed that the medicine, which is called ‘baricitinib’, is a possible treatment for the virus.

The company used its own AI models to sift through the mounds of scientific literature to search for drugs that may inhibit the infection process. So far, the best treatment that was discovered is baricitinib. This drug is predicted to be able to stop the infection from entering human lung cells.

There has been a new study that has shown the drug’s efficacy (effectiveness) and safety. Researchers from the Imperial College in London and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden’s administered baricitinib to 83 COVID-19 patients.

Baricitinib was given to patients with an average age of 81 that were being treated in hospitals in Spain and Italy.

The study found patients that received baricitinib are 71% less-likely to die. This was, sadly, compared to 83 people in the control group that were not given the life-saving treatment.

We urgently need to find more effective treatments for COVID-19 while we wait for a vaccine to become widely available. This is one of the first COVID-19 treatments to go from computer to clinic and laboratory.

Professor Justin Stebbing

Now, the findings are being followed up by large-scale clinical trials. 🙂

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