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The world’s fastest supercomputer identified chemicals that could stop coronavirus from spreading, which experts say is a crucial step toward a vaccine. IBM’s supercomputer “Summit” ran thousands of simulations to analyze which drug compounds might effectively stop the virus from infecting host cells. It identified 77 such chemicals, according to a report from CNN. Summit, IBM’s supercomputer equipped with the “brain of AI,” ran thousands of simulations (imitation of the operation of a process) to analyze which drug compounds might effectively stop the virus from infecting host cells. It’s definitely a promising step toward creating the most effective vaccine.
Summit was used to analyze a database of over 8,000 compounds that are known from existing drugs, chemicals, herbal medicines, and natural products. Its job was to find out compounds that appear to be capable of binding to the SARS-CoV-2 protein spikes, thereby blocking the virus. The drugs found will require extensive testing and clinical trials before it can be used as a vaccine.
Previously Summit has identified patterns in cellular systems that precede Alzheimer’s, analyzed genes that contribute to traits like opioid addiction and predicted extreme weather based on climate simulations.
So Far the Light of Success
Japanese Flu Drug ‘Clearly Effective’ in Treating Corona Virus, Says China
Medical authorities in China have said a drug used in Japan to treat new strains of influenza appeared to be effective in coronavirus patients.
Favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, had produced encouraging outcomes in clinical trials in Wuhan and Shenzhen involving 340 patients.
In 2016, the Japanese government supplied favipiravir as an emergency aid to counter the Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea.
The Ebola drug: Remdesivir
Remdesivir was originally developed as an Ebola treatment, but the drug has emerged as a frontrunner among potential antiviral drugs to combat Covid-19.
The drug works against SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), two other coronaviruses that are more lethal but less transmissible.
The anti-malaria drug: Chloroquine
Chloroquine is a cheap, widely available drug that has been routinely used since 1945 against malaria and other conditions.
Doctors said 25% of patients who received the drug tested positive for the virus after six days, compared with 90% of those who did not receive it.
WHO is also using it in clinical trials for COVID-19.
Anti-HIV Drug Given to COVID 19 affected Italian Couple in Jaipur, India
Combination of medications lopinavir and ritonavir which are second-line HIV drugs.
Both were discharged after testing negative twice for the virus, as per the established protocol.
After positive outcome in Jaipur, 3 patients in Mumbai put on anti-HIV drugs.
However, the Italian tourist who died in Jaipur was a 70 year-old chain smoker; he had tested negative for the corona virus twice.
The Indian Government has decided to use Lopinavir/ Ritonavir with proper informed expressed consent on a case to case basis for severe cases.
How soon can a drug or a vaccine be expected?
WHO chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said: “if everything goes really well, we would probably have a vaccine in the next 12-18 months but even after that there would be the question of availability of sufficient doses. We are probably looking at an 18-24 month window for that.”