Scientists have discovered six drugs made from more than 10,000 compounds that may help in the treatment of COVID-19.
The research was published in the journal, Nature.
It tested the efficacy of approved drugs, drug candidates in clinical trials and other compounds.
“Currently there are no targeted therapeutics or effective treatment options for COVID-19,” Professor Luke Guddat from the University of Queensland in Australia, said.
“In order to rapidly discover lead compounds for clinical use, we initiated a programme -through drug screening, both in laboratories and also using the latest computer software to predict how different drugs bind to the virus.
Researchers explained that the project targeted the main COVID-19 virus enzyme, known as the main protease or Mpro.
Mpro plays a pivotal role in mediating viral replication.
This makes it an attractive drug target for this virus, and as people don’t naturally have this enzyme, compounds that target it are likely to have low toxicity, they said.