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Preexisting drug shows promise in fight against COVID-19

First appearing in late 2019 in Wuhan City, China, the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to cause sickness and death across the globe. Researchers and scientists have been looking at multiple solutions to treat COVID-19, including repurposing approved pharmaceutical drugs. This research points to very promising treatment options.

A team of researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago used state-of-the-art computer simulations to identify a preexisting drug that could fast-track a solution to this worldwide pandemic.

Their findings appear in the paper, "Molecular Characterization of Ebselen Binding Activity to SARS-CoV-2 Main 4 Protease," which was published on August 14 in the journal Science Advances.

Early in February, concerned by the rapid progress of the pandemic, Professor Juan de Pablo and his students used their molecular modeling expertise to help find a treatment against the disease. They were not the only ones. Other groups around the world were beginning to use supercomputers to rapidly screen thousands of existing compounds for potential use against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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