BenevolentAI, a London based start-up claims to have found the potential cure for COVID-19. The medicine is soon going to undergo clinical trials, reports said.
According to a report on Tech Times, BenevolentAI created one of a kind search engine that plied through the drug industry data and cross-referenced them with scientific research papers. In using this software, the company was able to identify a drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis which is expected to severely dampen the most harmful effects of the COVID-19.
The drug, known as Baricitinib, is already in the market under the brand name Olumiant.
“This is the drug that could potentially be one of the few drugs out there that can be a cure for novel coronavirus,” said Peter Richardson, Vice President of Pharmacology of BenevolentAI. He went on to add that his company has already published two research papers stating some evidence as well as hypotheses.
Meanwhile, Eli Lilly, the company that markets Baricitinib announced that they are now working together with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on a large clinical trial of the drug.
Eli Lilly’s biomedicines division president Patrik Jonsson said his company had not ever thought of Baricitinib as a potential cure for infectious and life-threatening COVID-19.
The clinical trials are expected to commence this month in the US and will likely be expanded to regions such as Asia and Europe over a period of time. The results are expected to be available as early as June.
That said, it might take at least another year to be able to design, organise, and launch a trial, Jonsson says. “I can’t assure that Baricitinib will work out perfectly. However, there’s a huge unmet need,” Jonsson added while pointing out that there is no known cure for the disease as yet.