Health & Wellbeing

The potentially global impact of local science

Published Apr 24, 2020

An anti-viral compound that was designed and synthesised by Victoria University of Wellington’s Ferrier Research Institute appears to have the potential to be used in the treatment of COVID-19.

Wellington UniVentures manages the intellectual property used in the development of this technology, created by Ferrier’s Professor Peter Tyler and licensed to a partner in the United States of America.

Our US-based partner subsequently discovered the compound’s antiviral properties and used it to create a broad spectrum anti-viral treatment which disrupts the viral replication process. This anti-viral treatment has the potential to fight multiple viral threats—including SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of COVID-19), Ebola, Marburg, Yellow Fever and Zika.

In April, our partner began a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the safety, clinical impact and antiviral effects of the treatment in patients with COVID-19.

If trials prove successful, such a drug could reduce the amount of time a person is infectious, the severity of that infection and ideally keep people out of the hospital system. Eventually, it could be used preventatively, and offered to frontline health and rest home workers to prevent them from contracting the virus.

Janice Cheng
Janice Cheng

Head of Health & Wellbeing

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Hamish Findlay 2 v2
Hamish Findlay

General Manager Commercialisation

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