CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan, Australia to team up on COVID-19 drug study
Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Taiwanese and Australian university researchers will work together on developing new drugs with potential efficacy against various viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said Thursday.
In video conference call on May 7, researchers from Australia's Monash University and Taiwan's Chang Gung University (CGU) expressed a strong desire to embark on a study and reached an agreement on the areas in which they will cooperate, the ministry said.
Under the agreement, Taiwan will provide strains of the SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses, and Australia will provide the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin to study its effectiveness against COVID-19, the ministry said, adding the research will be carried out in Taiwan laboratories.
The cooperation will focus on identifying novel therapeutic drug targets against COVID-19 and will be expanded to study their effectiveness against other viruses, including HIV, dengue, Zika, and influenza, the ministry said.
The two universities have decided to sign a cooperation deal and a non-disclosure agreement, after which they will quickly embark on the studies, according to the ministry.
The agreement on the joint research, which may lead to the development of a drug for COVID-19, was initiated by MOST after it learned of studies in Australia that showed the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin eliminating the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cells within 48 hours in a laboratory setting.
The studies were conducted by Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia, and the former released its findings on April 3.
Taiwan's representative office in Australia then approached the universities to propose further research in collaboration with CGU, according to Shih Shin-ru (施信如), director of the CGU Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections, who will serve as the project manager in Taiwan.
Established in 2009, CGU's Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections receives subsidies from MOST and plays a leading role in Taiwan's response to diseases like SARS and H1N1 and their effects on the society, economy, transportation, ecology and education.
- Close to 40 percent of imported COVID-19 cases found at border: CECCClose to 40 percent of the country's COVID-19 coronavirus cases were found by Taiwan's border control officials, reflecting the country's success at keeping the virus at bay, the ...06/05/2020 09:27 PM
- Local hypermarket chain to begin selling face masks for childrenHypermarket chain A-Mart will begin selling surgical masks for children from Saturday, joining the heated market after the government relaxed mask sale restrictions at the ...06/05/2020 07:34 PM
- Taiwanese stranded in Poland to return home via direct charter flightOver 100 Taiwanese nationals stranded in Poland due to the COVID-19 pandemic will return to Taiwan on a charter direct flight from Warsaw Sunday, the Polish Office in Taipei said ...06/05/2020 06:58 PM
Mayor Han tours devastated farms amid recall vote in Kaohsiung06/06/2020 12:58 PM
Taiwan headline news06/06/2020 12:27 PM
Kaohsiung voters head to polls for mayoral recall06/06/2020 08:35 AM
CPC, Pertamina sign accord for joint petrochemical investment06/05/2020 11:50 PM
New SEF chair says Taiwan and China can work for people's interests06/05/2020 11:27 PM