Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been creating a worldwide pandemic situation. Repurposing drugs, already shown to be free of harmful side effects, for the treatment of COVID-19 patients is an important option in launching novel therapeutic strategies. Therefore, reliable molecule interaction data are a crucial basis, where drug-/protein-protein interaction networks establish invaluable, year-long carefully curated data resources. However, these resources have not yet been systematically exploited using high-performance artificial intelligence approaches. Here, we combine three networks, two of which are year-long curated, and one of which, on SARS-CoV-2-human host-virus protein interactions, was published only most recently (30th of April 2020), raising a novel network that puts drugs, human and virus proteins into mutual context. We apply Variational Graph AutoEncoders (VGAEs), representing most advanced deep learning based methodology for the analysis of data that are subject to network constraints. Reliable simulations confirm that we operate at utmost accuracy in terms of predicting missing links. We then predict hitherto unknown links between drugs and human proteins against which virus proteins preferably bind. The corresponding therapeutic agents present splendid starting points for exploring novel host-directed therapy (HDT) options

Evolutionary Intelligence

Ray, S., Lall, S., Mukhopadhyay, A., Bandyopadhyay, S., & Schönhuth, A. (2020). Predicting potential drug targets and repurposable drugs for COVID-19 via a deep generative model for graphs.