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Australian scientists make ‘global breakthrough’ on new antiviral drug against COVID-19 infection

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Australian researchers have reportedly made a global breakthrough on a new antiviral drug they believe can protect against COVID-19 infection.

Monash University researchers have conducted modelling of the drug to show it has significant blocking ability against the virus that causes COVID-19, The Australian has reported.

Researchers hope the drug, which could be administered by an inhaler, might be available as early as the end of the year.

Monash University senior research fellow Tom Karagiannis said he and his team had tested the way a designer molecule called a-ketoamide blocks one of the proteins needed to replicate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Last month German researchers published new data on an improved version of a-ketomides they said work more effectively in humans.

Dr Karagiannis and his colleagues used a supercomputer to study the way the improved version blocks the triggering of the replication of the virus that causes COVID-19 and found it acts as a handbrake on the virus’s ability to replicate.

“This molecule stops the virus from replicating, which can then stop the release of new virus particles and infection of other cells in the body,” Dr Karagiannis told The Australian.

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