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Title: Network medicine framework for identifying drug-repurposing opportunities for COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to quickly and reliably prioritize clinically approved compounds for their potential effectiveness for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Here, we deployed algorithms relying on artificial intelligence, network diffusion, and network proximity, tasking each of them to rank 6,340 drugs for their expected efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. To test the predictions, we used as ground truth 918 drugs experimentally screened in VeroE6 cells, as well as the list of drugs in clinical trials that capture the medical community’s assessment of drugs with potential COVID-19 efficacy. We find that no single predictive algorithm offers consistently reliable outcomes across all datasets and metrics. This outcome prompted us to develop a multimodal technology that fuses the predictions of all algorithms, finding that a consensus among the different predictive methods consistently exceeds the performance of the best individual pipelines. We screened in human cells the top-ranked drugs, obtaining a 62% success rate, in contrast to the 0.8% hit rate of nonguided screenings. Of the six drugs that reduced viral infection, four could be directly repurposed to treat COVID-19, proposing novel treatments for COVID-19. We also found that 76 of the 77 drugs that successfully reduced viral infection do not bind the proteins targeted by SARS-CoV-2, indicating that these network drugs rely on network-based mechanisms that cannot be identified using docking-based strategies. These advances offer a methodological pathway to identify repurposable drugs for future pathogens and neglected diseases underserved by the costs and extended timeline of de novo drug development.  more » « less
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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National Science Foundation
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    To what extent is preconception maternal or paternal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination associated with miscarriage incidence?


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    Several observational studies have evaluated the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and found no association with miscarriage, though no study prospectively evaluated the risk of early miscarriage (gestational weeks [GW] <8) in relation to COVID-19 vaccination. Moreover, no study has evaluated the role of preconception vaccination in both male and female partners.


    An Internet-based, prospective preconception cohort study of couples residing in the USA and Canada. We analyzed data from 1815 female participants who conceived during December 2020–November 2022, including 1570 couples with data on male partner vaccination.


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    Among 1815 eligible female participants, 75% had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the time of conception. Almost one-quarter of pregnancies resulted in miscarriage, and 75% of miscarriages occurred <8 weeks’ gestation. The propensity score-weighted IRR comparing female participants who received at least one dose any time before conception versus those who had not been vaccinated was 0.85 (95% CI: 0.63, 1.14). COVID-19 vaccination was not associated with increased risk of either early miscarriage (GW: <8) or late miscarriage (GW: 8–19). There was no indication of an increased risk of miscarriage associated with male partner vaccination (IRR = 0.90; 95% CI: 0.56, 1.44).


    The present study relied on self-reported vaccination status and infection history. Thus, there may be some non-differential misclassification of exposure status. While misclassification of miscarriage is also possible, the preconception cohort design and high prevalence of home pregnancy testing in this cohort reduced the potential for under-ascertainment of miscarriage. As in all observational studies, residual or unmeasured confounding is possible.


    This is the first study to evaluate prospectively the relation between preconception COVID-19 vaccination in both partners and miscarriage, with more complete ascertainment of early miscarriages than earlier studies of vaccination. The findings are informative for individuals planning a pregnancy and their healthcare providers.


    This work was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Health [R01-HD086742 (PI: L.A.W.); R01-HD105863S1 (PI: L.A.W. and M.L.E.)], the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R03-AI154544; PI: A.K.R.), and the National Science Foundation (NSF-1914792; PI: L.A.W.). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the report, or the decision to submit the paper for publication. L.A.W. is a fibroid consultant for AbbVie, Inc. She also receives in-kind donations from Swiss Precision Diagnostics (Clearblue home pregnancy tests) and (fertility apps). M.L.E. received consulting fees from Ro, Hannah, Dadi, VSeat, and Underdog, holds stock in Ro, Hannah, Dadi, and Underdog, is a past president of SSMR, and is a board member of SMRU. K.F.H. reports being an investigator on grants to her institution from UCB and Takeda, unrelated to this study. S.H.-D. reports being an investigator on grants to her institution from Takeda, unrelated to this study, and a methods consultant for UCB and Roche for unrelated drugs. The authors report no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.



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