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BenevolentAI’s platform-derived hypothesis for COVID-19 treatment validated in US NIAID randomised control trial

  • Baricitinib in combination with remdesivir reduces the recovery time in hospitalised patients with COVID-19
  • Data validates AI-derived hypothesis for treatment first published by BenevolentAI in The Lancet on February 4, 2020


London, 14 September 2020: BenevolentAI, the leader in the application of AI and machine learning to re-engineer drug discovery and development, today confirmed data released from a large scale randomised clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), further validates its AI-derived hypothesis for baricitinib as a treatment for COVID-19. The randomised control trial included more than 1,000 patients and began on May 8 to assess the efficacy and safety of baricitinib plus remdesivir versus remdesivir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

Eli Lilly today announced that Baricitinib in combination with remdesivir achieved the primary endpoint of the study which was a statistically significant reduction in the time to recovery for patients in comparison with remdesivir alone. Recovery was defined as the participant being well enough for hospital discharge, meaning the patient either no longer required ventilation or ongoing medical care within the hospital, or was no longer hospitalised at day 29 of the study. Positive data from the study also showed baricitinib met a key secondary endpoint comparing patient outcomes at Day 15 using an ordinal 8-point scale ranging from fully recovered to death. In addition, Lilly is conducting a Phase 3 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of baricitinib in hospitalised adults with COVID-19..

Baroness Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI said, “We are encouraged by the ACTT-2 results from NIAID which validate our AI platform-derived hypothesis of baricitinib’s efficacy as a treatment for COVID-19. With the number of cases of infection surging across the world, clinicians are in urgent need of additional therapies that can accelerate patient recovery and reduce mortality. We are proud to contribute our research to aid the global pandemic response”.

Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer of Eli Lilly commented, “As a company, we’ve moved quickly to develop and evaluate medicines for patients for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. This data allows us to better understand baricitinib’s role in potentially improving outcomes for hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and we look forward to continuing this research alongside our other initiatives to combat COVID-19.”



Media enquiries

Rajin Kang | rajin.kang@benevolent.ai 


Note to editors: Baricitinib is approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.  It is administered orally and has been used to treat COVID-19 patients in more than 14 clinical trials worldwide including the randomised clinical trials by the NIAID and Eli Lilly. BenevolentAI’s research on baricitinib as a treatment for COVID-19 has been published in The Lancet, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, and EMBO Molecular Medicine

About BenevolentAI (www.benevolent.com)

BenevolentAI creates and applies AI and machine learning to transform the way medicines are discovered and developed. Benevolent integrates its technology into every step of the drug discovery process, from hypothesis generation to early-stage clinical development. BenevolentAI is headquartered in London with a research facility in Cambridge (UK) and further offices in New York. BenevolentAI has active R&D drug programmes in disease areas such as ALS, Ulcerative Colitis and Sarcopenia and has research and commercial collaborations with AstraZeneca and Novartis.


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