Identification of new drug treatments to combat COVID19: A signature-based approach using iLINCS

Sinead O'Donovan, Hunter Eby, Nicholas Henkel, Justin Creeden, Ali Imami, Sophie Asah, Xiaolu Zhang, Xiaojun Wu, Rawan Alnafisah, Travis Taylor, James Reigle, Alexander Thorman, Behrouz Shamsaei, Jarek Meller, Robert McCullumsmith

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Received date: 8th April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 is more contagious than other coronaviruses and has higher rates of mortality than influenza. As no vaccine or drugs are currently approved to specifically treat COVID-19, identification of effective therapeutics is crucial to treat the afflicted and limit disease spread. We deployed a bioinformatics workflow to identify candidate drugs for the treatment of COVID-19. Using an “omics” repository, the Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS), we simultaneously probed transcriptomic signatures of putative COVID-19 drugs and signatures of coronavirus-infected cell lines to identify therapeutics with concordant signatures and discordant signatures, respectively. Our findings include three FDA approved drugs that have established antiviral activity, including protein kinase inhibitors, providing a promising new category of candidates for COVID-19 interventions.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

-, Nature Portfolio, Springer Nature