A Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Model of the Pathophysiology and Treatment of COVID-19 Predicts Optimal Timing of Pharmacological Interventions
A quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) model of the pathogenesis and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection can streamline and accelerate the development of novel medicines to treat COVID-19. Simulation of clinical trials allows in silico exploration of the uncertainties of clinical trial design and can rapidly inform their protocols. We previously published a preliminary model of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. To further our understanding of COVID-19 and treatment we significantly
... pdated the model by matching a curated dataset spanning viral load and immune responses in plasma and lung. We identified a population of parameter sets to generate heterogeneity in pathophysiology and treatment and tested this model against published reports from interventional SARS-CoV-2 targeting Ab and anti-viral trials. Upon generation and selection of a virtual population, we match both the placebo and treated responses in viral load in these trials. We extended the model to predict the rate of hospitalization or death within a population. Via comparison of the in silico predictions with clinical data, we hypothesize that the immune response to virus is log-linear over a wide range of viral load. To validate this approach, we show the model matches a published subgroup analysis, sorted by baseline viral load, of patients treated with neutralizing Abs. By simulating intervention at different timepoints post infection, the model predicts efficacy is not sensitive to interventions within five days of symptom onset, but efficacy is dramatically reduced if more than five days pass post-symptom onset prior to treatment.