COVID Moonshot is an international consortium aiming to discover patent-free oral antiviral against SARS-CoV-2, targeting the main protease. Operating under an open science ethos, we make all data and structures publicly available, and crowdsource molecule designs from the community. In less than a year, we went from fragment hits to nanomolar leads in biochemical and antiviral assays. In my talk, I will discuss Moonshot’s journey towards orally bioavailable, non-covalent, and non-peptidomimetic Mpro inhibitors. I will discuss how machine learning technologies have accelerated our design-make-test cycle, and the learnings we gleaned from this large-scale prospective use of algorithms.
Dr Alpha Lee is a Group Leader in the Department of Physics, University of Cambridge. His research focuses on developing machine learning technologies that close the design-make-test cycle for small molecule drug discovery and materials discovery. He is interested in how physical and chemical insights can be integrated into the design of interpretable algorithms. Before joining Cambridge, Dr Lee was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard and obtained his PhD from the University of Oxford.