COVID Moonshot: PostEra’s machine learning platform in real world drug discovery


In March 2020 PostEra helped launch COVID Moonshot, which became the world’s largest open-science initiative to develop a COVID antiviral cure.

With low and middle income economies limited in access to vaccines, Moonshot set out to develop patent-free compounds that would be readily accessible for all patients around the world.
Access the Data
In 18 months, the project progressed from a fragment screen to the nomination of Development Candidates ready for IND-enabling studies.
PropertyTarget RangeCold Start Mar 2020 --> Dec 2021
Protease Assay

IC50 < 50 nM


Viral Replication

EC50 < 0.2µM

0.15 μM in A549 CPE


Cmin > EC90 (plaque reduction) for 24h

Current projected human dose ~220mg QD ; 100mg BID

Coronavirus spectrum

SARS-CoV2 B1.1.7 , 501.V2, B.1.1.248 variants essential

SARS-CoV-1 & MERS desirable

Active against B1.1.7 , 501.V2 in cellular assays

Route of administration


BO = 45% in rat


> 5 mg/mL, >100µM tolerable

750 µM


Ideally >= 8 h (human) est from rat and dog

Rat 2h, human predicted PK sufficient


No significant protease activity >50% at 10μM (Nanosyn 61 protease panel)

Only reversible and monitorable toxicities (NOAEL > 30x Cmax)

No significant DDI – clean in 5 CYP450 isoforms

Critical transporter check (e.g. OATP)

hERG and NaV1.5 IC50 > 50 µM

No significant change in QTc

No mutagenicity or teratogenicity risk

Protease panel clean on analogues

Eurofins / CEREP 44 target panel clean

Cyp450: clean except 2A4 (3uM)

No hERG activity

Live phase planned

Lead compounds are clean in AMES +/- S9

What's Next?


Moonshot attracted an $11M grant to move our patent-free compounds through IND-enabling studies and into clinical trials.


PostEra and members of the Moonshot consortium successfully secured a $68M grant from the NIH to develop antivirals against other viruses of pandemic concern.