Crowdsourcing SARS-CoV-2 anti-virals

In February 2020, soon after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diamond Light Source (Instruct Centre UK, Frank von Delft, Martin Walsh) and the Israel Structural Proteomics Center at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Instruct Centre IL, Nir London) initiated a joint effort to identify starting points for SARS-CoV-2 anti-virals.

The team performed a large-scale screen of electrophile and non-covalent fragments through a combined mass spectrometry (ISPC) and X-ray (Diamond) approach against the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. This resulted in more than 71 co-crystal structures that span the entire active site, which were immediately released to the public. This effort sparked the COVID-Moonshot, a multinational consortium aiming to bring a cheap and safe SARS-CoV-2 anti-viral to market, via open-science and crowdsourcing approaches. Based on this preliminary data, the team have compounds with sub-uM activity in vitro and anti-viral activity in cells, which are being optimised for pre-clinical development.


Want to find out more?

Find out about Crowdsourcing for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitor from Nir London in the first webinar of the Structure Meets Function series hosted by Instruct Centre IL.



Read our related Special Feature:

Solving the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease: from synthetic gene to crowdsourced drug discovery project