Video: Can drugs be made for viruses that do not exist yet?

xw hhrcaxr aesd z qnhu
Credit: Dowell/Getty Images
[N]ovel coronaviruses seem to be making successful jumps to humans very roughly once per decade — and there’s no reason to think they’ll stop after this one.

Unfortunately for us, there’s only been so much cumulative progress when it comes to developing antivirals to fight coronaviruses. As closely related as the SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 viruses are, they’re distinct enough that researchers haven’t discovered a catch-all coronavirus drug. And unfortunately, the SARS and MERS epidemics simply may not have been catastrophic enough to motivate funders, governments, and drug companies to develop proactive antivirals before the next event.

“A non-virologist, if you remind them, will remember it happened,” says virologist Nat Moorman about the SARS and MERS outbreaks. “But the answer you typically hear is ‘yeah, but that wasn’t really that big of a deal,’ not realizing how close we really were to it being that big of a deal. And so, you know, the interest of the public, and at some level the interest of funders, fades over time.”

Related article:  Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ordered to stop hawking bogus coronavirus cures
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Moorman and his colleagues at UNC-Chapel Hill are determined to keep interest in antivirals high, no matter what course this pandemic ultimately takes. They’re tackling a line of research that could lead to much “broader-spectrum” antivirals: drugs that are effective against this coronavirus, but also the next one to appear — and, possibly, any virus at all.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend