Machine learning and network medicine approaches for drug repositioning for COVID-19


We present two machine learning approaches for drug repurposing. While we have developed them for COVID-19, they are disease-agnostic. The two methodologies are complementary, targeting SARS-CoV-2 and host factors, respectively. Our first approach consists of a matrix factorization algorithm to rank broad-spectrum antivirals. Our second approach, based on network medicine, uses graph kernels to rank drugs according to the perturbation they induce on a subnetwork of the human interactome that is crucial for SARS-CoV-2 infection/replication. Our experiments show that our top predicted broad-spectrum antivirals include drugs indicated for compassionate use in COVID-19 patients; and that the ranking obtained by our kernel-based approach aligns with experimental data. Finally, we present the COVID-19 repositioning explorer (CoREx), an interactive online tool to explore the interplay between drugs and SARS-CoV-2 host proteins in the context of biological networks, protein function, drug clinical use, and Connectivity Map. CoREx is freely available at:

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