Disease Studies

The COVID-19 PHARMACOME: Rational Selection of Drug Repurposing Candidates from Multimodal Knowledge Harmonization

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has challenged researchers at a global scale. The scientific community’s massive response has resulted in a flood of experiments, analyses, hypotheses, and publications, especially in the field drug repurposing. However, many of the proposed therapeutic compounds obtained from SARS-CoV-2 specific assays are not in agreement and thus demonstrate the need for a singular source of COVID-19 related information from which a rational selection of drug repurposing candidates can be made.

In this paper, we present the COVID-19 PHARMACOME, a comprehensive drug-target-mechanism graph generated from a compilation of several disease maps and experimental data focused on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pathophysiology. By applying a systematic approach, we were able to predict the effect of drug pairs on SARS-CoV-2 infection. Experimental validation of our results demonstrate that our graph can be used to not only explore the involved mechanistic pathways, but also to identify novel combinations of drug repurposing candidates.

To view the publication in full, please see Schultz, B., Zaliani, A., Ebeling, C. et al. A method for the rational selection of drug repurposing candidates from multimodal knowledge harmonization. Sci Rep 11, 11049 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-90296-2


During the pandemic, our understanding has been strengthened by those that built international collaborations quickly, across borders and disciplines. We acknowledge the role of Professor Martin Hofmann-Apitius in inviting PrecisionLife to participate and share some of energy and satisfaction of working together below.

“great collaboration between international partners from academia (Yale, Charité, University Hospital Frankfurt) and industry (PrecisionLife, PMI). One of the few “we can predict drug repurposing candidates” papers in the COVID-19 field that has invested substantially in a solid experimental validation; most papers on that topic report on modeling and prediction, but do not show a single screening experiment. In so far, I am more than happy that we had Fraunhofer ITMP in Hamburg on board; the specialists for screening and assays.”

Martin Hofmann-Apitius Head of the Department of Bioinformatics at Fraunhofer SCAI & Professor at the University of Bonn [LinkedIN] via Linkedin 26 May 2021.


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