q&more
My watch list
my.chemie.de  
Login  

News

In the hunt for new treatments against the coronavirus

Software for drug repurposing: Systems medicine and artificial intelligence for data analysis

Julia Matschinske, TUM

Online data analysis platform CoVex (Corona Virus Explorer).

28-Apr-2020: Currently, the corona pandemic is dominating the entire social life in Germany and in many other parts of the world. We are working flat out in order to better help the more than one hundred thousand seriously ill people in hospitals. One promising approach to extending current treatment methods is to use existing and approved drugs to combat the virus.

In order to find out which existing drugs might be suitable for the treatment of Covid-19, numerous research groups from all over the world are working on systems medicine approaches. A research team from the Chair of Experimental Bioinformatics (ExBio) at the TUM School of Life Science of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed the first online data analysis platform for this purpose.

Systems Medicine and Artificial Intelligence for data analysis

The so-called Coronavirus Explorer (CoVex) integrates the virus-human interactome for SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. CoVex is designed to help provide a comprehensive understanding of the infection mechanisms and focuses not only on the virus and its direct interaction partners, but in particular involves the host-protein interaction network.

"The goal of CoVex is to make data more accessible and analyzable with the help of Artificial Intelligence, even for non-computer scientists such as virologists. The virus-host interactome of SARS-CoV-2 serves as the basis for our systems medicine approach," explains Prof. Jan Baumbach, head of the Department of Experimental Bioinformatics. 

Identification of drug repurposing candidates for treatment of Covid-19

"In particular, candidates for the reuse of known active substances are to be identified using CoVex. These do not target - as most of the existing drugs - directly the proteins of the virus, but against interaction partners in human cells. This makes it more difficult for the virus to escape treatment by mutating its own genome. This can be of great importance in possible future epidemic waves," said Baumbach.

"Our network-based approach can significantly accelerate the identification of potential drugs for the treatment of COVID-19," said Prof. Baumbach.

Data analysis platform publicly available

CoVex is therefore available to biological, medical and computer-based researchers as well as to the general public. Users can already view the latest available molecular data on SARS-CoV-2 and perform systems medicine analyses at https://exbio.wzw.tum.de/covex/.

However, Prof. Baumbach emphasizes that CoVex is a method for predicting possible future drugs for COVID-19, which have not yet undergone more intensive preclinical or clinical validation. "Under normal circumstances, we would not have gone public with CoVex at this point in time, but since the main functionality is implemented, we believe that this first version is already extremely useful for many researchers," said the chair holder.

In the coming weeks, CoVex will be continuously updated, for example by incorporating the latest experimental data for SARS-CoV-2 and implementing new functionalities. Furthermore, predicted candidates for new COVID-19 drugs will be pre-clinically tested and investigated.

Facts, background information, dossiers

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • artificial intelligence

More about TU München

  • News

    Secure nano-carrier delivers medications directly to cells

    Medications often have unwanted side-effects. One reason is that they reach not only the unhealthy cells for which they are intended, but also reach and have an impact on healthy cells. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), working together with the KTH Royal Institute of ... more

    Benzene in cherry flavor - where it comes from and how to avoid it?

    In 2013, the Stiftung Warentest found harmful benzene in drinks with cherry flavor. But how did the substance get into the drinks? Was the source benzaldehyde, an essential component of the cherry flavoring? And if so, how could the problem be solved? A new study by the Leibniz-Institute fo ... more

    Blocking sugar structures on viruses and tumor cells

    During a viral infection, viruses enter the body and multiply in its cells. Viruses often specifically attach themselves to the sugar structures of the host cells, or present characteristic sugar structures on their surface themselves. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) ... more

  • q&more articles

    Taste and aroma boost in the mouth

    The food trend towards healthy snacks is continuing. Snacks made from freeze-dried fruit meet consumer expectations of modern and high-quality food. However, freeze drying of whole fruits requires long drying times and substantially reduces sensorial quality, which is unappealing to consumers. more

    Diet, gut microbiota and host lipid metabolism

    Nature provides an enormous diversity of lipid molecules that originate from various pathways. Fatty acids are key modules for various lipids, including cell membrane lipids such as phospholipids or triacylglycerols, which are the major components of lipid droplets. Excess lipids or defects ... more

    Translation

    The structure of the big chemical and pharmaceutical companies has changed. Traditional centralised research departments conducting fundamental research have fallen victim to economic considerations. In exchange, young, dynamic start-up enterprises are increasingly brightening up the scene. ... more

  • Authors

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kulozik

    Ulrich Kulozik, born in 1955, studied food technology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), where he received his doctorate in 1986 and qualified as a professor in food and bioprocess technology in 1991. Until 1999, he worked in the food industry as Department Manager Process & Produ ... more

    Mine Ozcelik

    Mine Ozcelik, born in 1984, graduated with Bachelor’s and Master’s of Engineering degrees in Chemical Engineering from Ankara University, Turkey in 2008 and 2012, respectively. She started working in the food industry as an R&D and laboratory head in September 2008 in Ankara, where she over ... more

    Dr. Josef Ecker

    Josef Ecker, born in 1978, studied biology at the University of Regensburg. He earned his doctorate in 2007, after which he researched as a postdoc at the University Hospital in Regensburg at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry. After several subsequent years in industry, working in executi ... more

q&more – the networking platform for quality excellence in lab and process

The q&more concept is to increase the visibility of recent research and innovative solutions, and support the exchange of knowledge. In the broad spectrum of subjects covered, the focus is on achieving maximum quality in highly innovative sectors. As a modern knowledge platform, q&more offers market participants one-of-a-kind networking opportunities. Cutting-edge research is presented by authors of international repute. Attractively presented in a high-quality context, and published in German and English, the original articles introduce new concepts and highlight unconventional solution strategies.

> more about q&more

q&more is supported by:

 

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE