Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious, and while in the majority of cases results in mild symptoms, in many cases the symptoms progress to viral pneumonia and multi-organ failure.
There are currently no proven effective treatments or vaccines. Further, all treatments and vaccines currently in clinical trials were originally developed for other indications, and were not designed specifically against SARS-CoV-2, and therefore may have limited effectiveness. We believe that newly designed drugs that are purposefully developed to specifically target SARS-CoV-2, enabled by recent studies of the molecular biology of the virus, will have the potential to be far more effective than repurposing existing drugs.
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