Scientists have enlisted the world’s most powerful supercomputer to help find drugs that will allow patients to recover sooner from Covid-19.
Last month, researchers used it to screen through a library of 8,000 known drug compounds to find those most likely to be effective against the coronavirus. The compounds included chemicals, herbal medicines, and natural products that have either been studied in humans or are already approved drugs — and, importantly, are already considered safe for humans. Summit narrowed down the dataset to a short list of 77 in just two days. Using regular computers, the process would have taken months.
“The logic is if any of those compounds works, it should be much quicker than the typical drug development process to get approval and widespread use,” Jeremy Smith, a molecular biophysicist at the University of Tennessee who ran the simulations, tells OneZero. He and his colleague posted their findings to the preprint server ChemRxiv in February and are updating the paper as they run more calculations.