PRESS RELEASE – 18th June 2020

Dexamethasone identified by AI VIVO as high potential for treatment of COVID-19 ten weeks ago

  • Dexamethasone was shown to save the lives of seriously ill patients as a ground-breaking development in fight against COVID-19

  • AI VIVO identified Dexamethasone 10 weeks before the release of the clinical outcome that demonstrates the ability of AI VIVO’s unique phenotypic drug discovery methodology to identify and rank therapeutic candidates

  • AI VIVO seeks partners with pharma companies and clinical trial investigators to progress the combination of drugs including Dexamethasone to improve the clinical outcome and save lives

Cambridge, UK, 18 June 2020: AI VIVO, a company combining systems pharmacology and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate drug discovery, has announced that its platform correctly identified dexamethasone as having high potential for the treatment of COVID-19 in April 2020. This demonstrates the ability of AI VIVO’s platform to systematically and correctly identify candidates with the highest chance of therapeutic success.

The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone, has been part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing therapeutics that could be repurposed to help treat COVID-19. The drug, which is inexpensive and widely available, was shown to save the lives of seriously ill patients at a late stage of coronavirus (1). This is being viewed globally as a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus. On April 16th 2020, AI VIVO publicly named dexamethasone, along with four other drugs, as compounds most likely to be effective in treating COVID-19 (2). It is believed that had dexamethasone been used to treat patients in the UK from the start of the pandemic, up to 5,000 lives could have been saved (3).

To identify the candidate drugs most likely to be effective in treating the disease, AI VIVO used samples from COVID-19 infected cells to build its model for the disease, which was then used to rank thousands of compounds. The AI VIVO prediction engine, which is powered by AI, took just 15 days to rank 90,000 compound models in order of efficacy and identified a shortlist of top ranked candidate drugs in April.

AI VIVO’s ranking system is based on its unique phenotypic drug discovery methodology and does not rely on any prior knowledge or known information related to the disease or compounds. The Company’s April announcement was the first output of their prediction engine and was followed by a wider list of 41 top-ranked candidates on 7th May that are currently in clinical trials for COVID-19 (4). AI VIVO is tracking the clinical trials outcomes for these.

Dr Peyman Gifani, AI VIVO founder and CEO, said:This is another great validation of AI VIVO’s phenotypic approach to modelling diseases and the effects of drugs. We also believe Dexamethasone may be part of the COVID-19 puzzle, but it’s no magic bullet and only useful for the late stage of the disease. We need to consider combination of drugs to improve the efficiency at different stages of the disease. There are combinations of other top-ranked drugs that with Dexamethasone will be more effective than any single drug. We are expanding our interactions with government agencies and pharmaceutical companies to consider the top ranked drugs which have not yet been selected for trials, but have the potential to make a real difference in the fight against COVID-19.”

Dr David Cleevely CBE, lead investor in AI VIVO, said: “We are pleased to see that AI VIVO has once again been shown to have identified a breakthrough anti COVID-19 drug demonstrated to save lives around the world. This shows the unique capability of AI VIVO’s disruptive technology and the wider applications of this approach for other disease areas.”

AI VIVO has been in contact with various clinical trial investigators including the UK’s ACCORD programme to provide insights for selecting the best drug combinations systematically. AI VIVO now plans to release the name of other generic top ranked drugs that are not currently in clinical trials in order to help the fight against COVID-19. The list will be available on the AI VIVO website.

AI VIVO has not disclosed a number of proprietary top ranked compound candidates currently in phase II or phase III clinical trials for other indications. AI VIVO is contacting pharma companies who have developed these compounds to provide more information on why the compounds are top-ranked and how they might be used as single drugs and in combinations.

For more information about the other top-ranked list including single drug and combinations please contact:






About AI VIVO:

AI VIVO is a Cambridge (UK) based company with a unique systems pharmacology platform powered by AI to accelerate drug discovery. Our disruptive AI technology accelerates the entire drug discovery process by identifying promising candidates, de-risking the opportunities through preclinical validations, and progressing drug candidates to the clinic through industry and investor partnerships. AI VIVO won the ‘’Best Innovation in Pharma Award’’ at CogX 2020. CogX is the Global Leadership Summit and Festival of AI & Breakthrough Tech.