February 27, 2020
The Lancet

COVID-19: combining antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatments

Peter Richardson, Ivan Griffin, Catherine Tucker, Dan Smith, Olly Oechsle, Anne Phelan, Justin Stebbing

Earlier this month we published research in The Lancet in which we identified and analysed data on several drugs, of which baricitinib was the most promising. Baricitinib is an already approved drug which is predicted to inhibit the COVID19 infection of human cells. To take this work further in a short timescale, a necessity in a global health emergency, we re-examined the affinity and selectivity of all the approved drugs in our knowledge graph to identify those with both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. This research found combinations of baricitinib with the directly acting antivirals currently being used in the COVID-19 outbreak could reduce viral infectivity, virus replication and also the aberrant host inflammatory response. The use of an AI-driven knowledge graph facilitated this rapid response.