The public-private consortium to run this project includes leading academic groups and for-profit parties with a track record in drug discovery and development, extensive knowledge of medicinal chemistry and virology. The development of an effective treatment and prophylactic agent for COVID-19 will have a profound social and economic impact today. In addition, a broad spectrum antiviral will help to contain/curb future epidemic coronavirus outbreaks and to treat future patients.
A new coronavirus, identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is responsible for the outbreak of a viral pandemic that started in Wuhan (China) and has spread rapidly around the world. SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which causes deadly pneumonia in a percentage of the infected population. No specific drugs or vaccines are available to treat the disease, and the clinical treatment of severe cases includes oxygen administration and mechanical ventilation. As a result, the governments of most countries have taken drastic containment measures with unprecedented economic impact.