The University of Basel is part of the global search for a drug to fight the rampant coronavirus. Researchers in the Computational Pharmacy group have so far virtually tested almost 700 million substances, targeting a specific site on the virus – with the aim of inhibiting its multiplication. Due to the current emergency, the first results of the tests will be made available to other research groups immediately.
Over the past few weeks, the research group in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, led by Professor Markus Lill, has been working with computer-aided methods to identify possible new drugs to combat the current coronavirus outbreak and similar epidemics in the future.
In the process, the researchers have tested, albeit virtually, more than 680 substances on one of the virus’s key proteins: its central protease.
This “virtual screening” has already identified several interesting substances that have the potential to inhibit the virus’s critical enzyme – and thus its further multiplication.
“Even if the complete development of a drug to fight this particular coronavirus is likely to exceed the duration of the current epidemic, it is important to develop drugs for future coronaviruses. This will make it possible to nip health crises like this one in the bud in the future,” says Lill.
Test results made public
In light of the current crisis, the group took an unusual decision by immediately making the test results publicly available in the form of an open-source preprint. The publication was consulted more than 3,000 times during the first 48 hours alone.
The Basel researchers hope that a larger number of research groups worldwide will test their proposals on the virus and initiate further trials. Normally, when it comes to drug design, the molecules of interest would be experimentally tested with other groups before the results were patented and published.
The main focus of other ongoing coronavirus trials is currently on the usability of existing antiviral drugs or the realignment of other drugs.
Prof. Dr. Markus A. Lill, University of Basel, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Computational Pharmacy, tel. +41 61 207 61 35, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
André Fischer, Manuel Sellner, Santhosh Neranjan, Markus A. Lill, and Martin Smiesko
Inhibitors for Novel Coronavirus Protease Identified by Virtual Screening of 687 Million Compounds
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
TU Bergakademie Freiberg researches virus inhibitors from the sea
27.03.2020 | Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg
The Venus flytrap effect: new study shows progress in immune proteins research
27.03.2020 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.
The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.
Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.
Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....
An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications
With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...
Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.
Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...
Terahertz waves are becoming ever more important in science and technology. They enable us to unravel the properties of future materials, test the quality of...
26.03.2020 | Event News
23.03.2020 | Event News
03.03.2020 | Event News
27.03.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences