Biotron to test its compounds against coronavirus

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Biotron (ASX:BIT) has joined the global search for a coronavirus vaccine by confirming it is evaluating several compounds, including the new novel strain known as 2019-nCoV.

The company said its small molecule compound library includes over 30 compounds with good activity against a range of coronaviruses, including human coronaviruses that cause mild, cold-like symptoms as well as the SARS coronavirus that was responsible for the outbreak of that virus in 2003.

"These compounds can reduce the levels of coronavirus by 90 - 100% in infected cell cultures. Importantly, several compounds have broad-spectrum activity against multiple strains of coronaviruses," it said.

As deaths from the current outbreak tops 1,000, Biotron said it is now focused on testing a select set of its compounds against the new 2019-nCoV.

"This work will be done under contract in specialist laboratories that have access to this new virus, which has only been isolated and made available for such studies in recent days. Biotron’s priority will be testing its compounds that have shown broad-spectrum activity against different coronaviruses," it said.