The development of new drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is in the focus of the research project “Conserved RNA elements as novel drug targets for antiviral therapy (Target-RNAantiV)“ supervised by PD Dr. Julia Weigand at the Technical University of Darmstadt. The Volkswagen Foundation is supporting this and 11 other projects in Germany within their funding initiative “Viral Zoonosis – Innovative Approaches in Drug Development” with 7 million Euro.
With only minor infrastructural requirements necessary to distribute drugs worldwide, they are an important tool to prevent another outbreak of corona viruses in the future. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 consists of around 30.000 RNA bases. Julia Weigand and team of scientists, which also includes scientists of the Goethe-University in Frankfurt (Prof. Dr. Maike Windbergs, Prof. Dr. Harald Schwalbe) are concentrating on the inhibition of the viral RNA. Together they combine expertise in structural research, medical chemistry, biology and pharmacy.