DrugSK: A Stacked Ensemble Learning Framework for Predicting Drug Combinations of Multiple Diseases

Siqi Chen, Nan Gao, Chunzhi Li, Fei Zhai, Xiwei Jiang, Peng Zhang, Jibin Guan, Kefeng Li, Rongwu Xiang, Guixia Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Combination therapy is an important direction of continuous exploration in the field of medicine, with the core goals of improving treatment efficacy, reducing adverse reactions, and optimizing clinical outcomes. Machine learning technology holds great promise in improving the prediction of drug synergy combinations. However, most studies focus on single disease-oriented collaborative predictive models or involve excessive feature categories, making it challenging to predict the majority of new drugs. To address these challenges, the DrugSK comprehensive model was developed, which utilizes SMILES-BERT to extract structural information from 3492 drugs and trains on reactions from 48,756 drug combinations. DrugSK is an integrated learning model capable of predicting interactions among various drug categories. First, the primary learner is trained from the initial data set. Random forest, support vector machine, and XGboost model are selected as primary learners and logistic regression as secondary learners. A new data set is then “generated” to train level 2 learners, which can be thought of as a prediction for each model. Finally, the results are filtered using logistic regression. Furthermore, the combination of the new antibacterial drug Drafloxacin with other antibacterial agents was tested. The synergistic effect of Drafloxacin and Isavuconazonium in the fight against Candida albicans has been confirmed, providing enlightenment for the clinical treatment of skin infection. DrugSK’s prediction is accurate in practical application and can also predict the probability of the outcome. In addition, the tendency of Drafloxacin and antifungal drugs to be synergistic was found. The development of DrugSK will provide a new blueprint for predicting drug combination synergies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5317-5327
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Information and Modeling
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2024


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