This scientist hopes to test coronavirus drugs on animals in locked-down Wuhan (2020/01/24)

Shanghai, China

As China battles to halt the spread of a new virus that has infected hundreds of people, one structural biologist is hoping to get to the epicentre of the outbreak, the locked-down city of Wuhan.

Rolf Hilgenfeld, who is based at the University of Lübeck in Germany, has been trying to develop a cure for coronaviruses since the 2002–03 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Hilgenfeld is hoping to get into Wuhan in central China, to work with researchers there to test two compounds in animals infected with the new, related coronavirus, which emerged in the city late last year. The early-stage drug candidates are not ready for use in people, but Hilgenfeld wants to start animal testing with the aim of developing treatments for future coronavirus outbreaks.

Author: David Cyranoski