MMV launches the COVID Box to stimulate new drug research

Box contains a standard set of compounds with known or predicted activity against SARS-CoV2

10 Jun 2020

Geneva, 10 June 2020. MMV contributes to the global hunt for new therapies for the SARS-CoV-2 virus with the launch of the COVID Box. The aim is to catalyse the discovery of drugs for COVID-19 disease by providing researchers with an initial set of 80 marketed drugs or compounds in development with known or predicted activity against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. An additional 80 compounds will be added to the Box in the coming weeks.

MMV’s COVID Box: a united front against COVID-19

In the space of a few months, COVID-19 has infected almost 7 million people and caused over 400,000 deaths, placing unprecedented pressure on healthcare systems and case management.“The spread of COVID-19 threatens to compromise control efforts for other infectious diseases like malaria by jeopardising access to life-saving antimalarial medicines and emergency care,” says Dr David Reddy, MMV’s CEO. “This pandemic calls for a united front, particularly with regard to research and development of new medicines. MMV has assembled the open access COVID Box to help spearhead such a collaborative response.”

Accelerating open research on coronaviruses

The COVID Box will be dispatched on request and free-of-charge to accelerate open research into treatments for COVID-19 and other SARS coronaviruses. In return, recipients will be asked to publish their findings in the public domain to spur open and collaborative research. Scientists are encouraged to use the compounds to enable cross comparison between different assay formats and generate a community consensus on those most interesting for follow-up. MMV’s partners are conducting studies on the biological, protein and lung binding activity of the compounds which will be reported in due course and contribute towards an improved evaluation of each compound’s potential.

Improving pandemic preparedness by sharing data

Increased air travel and densely concentrated, interconnected populations have made the world more vulnerable to pandemic diseases than ever before. Now more than ever, new, innovative and collaborative approaches are needed to mobilize the potential for discovering new drugs to fight global health emergencies.

In 2019, MMV and DNDi launched the Pandemic Response Box as a joint contribution towards pandemic preparedness. By providing a standardised set of compounds, MMV’s latest initiative, the COVID Box builds on this work and aims to spearhead research against SARS-CoV-2 as well as against future emerging threats.

More details on the box and how to order it can be found on the COVID Box webpage.