Remdesivir, Ritonavir and Lopinavir most Effective against Coronavirus, say NUS experts

Experts from the National University of Singapore analyzed 12 possible drugs, representing more than 530,000 possibilities. Experts continue to search for formulas to reduce the effects of Covid-19. The project has been carried out by several researchers at the National University of Singapore, who have found that the combination of remdesivir, ritonavir and lopinavir in specific doses is the most effective treatment against the pathogen. 

The remdesivir has recently been approved by the American Drug Agency (FDA) as a therapy against the disease. Its combination with the other two drugs mentioned determined a treatment 6.5 times more effective than if used in isolation.

Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin

The researchers also found that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which were considered the most promising methods until now, were relatively ineffective in fighting the coronavirus. To reach this conclusion, the experts analyzed the combination of 12 drugs representing more than 530,000 possibilities. Live SARS-CoV-2 from patients was used to test: remdesivir, favipiravir, lopinavir, ritonavir, oseltamivir, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, azithromycin, losartan, teicoplanin, ribavirin, and dexamethasone.

Three different dose levels

Through the artificial intelligence platform IDentif.Al, they observed that only three different dose levels needed to be tested for each drug. With this, it was determined that the combination of remdesivir, lopinavir and ritonavir is the best treatment, since it produces an almost total inhibition of the disease.

Availing of AI technology to specify more effective drug combinations more rapidly

This study's results have exhibited the power of IDentif.AI to discover optimal drug combinations for infectious diseases rapidly. It is designed as an online platform to give a more comprehensive insight into the extensive range of combinations explored. This interactive platform enables users to build different drug combinations online and inspect corresponding efficacy and safety data for research purposes. This resource will be updated continuously as additional IDentif.AI studies are conducted with additional therapies and viral strains. 
The team is also preparing to expand IDentif.AI towards locally obtainable therapies to develop novel combinations that can be rapidly deployed and administered easily, and may also use it to find optimal treatments against other infectious diseases in the future. 
"With IDentif.AI, we will always be ready to find optimal therapeutic solutions for the next outbreak rapidly," concluded Prof Ho.