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UAE developing antiviral drug to combat Covid-19

Sandooq Al Watan has signed sponsored research agreements with the University of Sharjah to collaborate on a number of research projects, including a Covid-19 antiviral drug.

The research agreements were signed under Sandooq Al Watan’s Applied Research and Development Programme “Sward”.

This latest agreement with the University of Sharjah follows the university winning grants for two research projects to combat the spread of Covid-19, including work on the development of a dual-inhibitor antiviral drug.

The project, led by Dr. Sameh Soliman and co-investigators Dr. Ahmed Almehdi, Dr. Rania Hamdy and Dr. Mohamed Haider from the University of Sharjah, seeks to design a dual-inhibitor antiviral drug against Covid-19 by coupling two major privileged scaffolds which will lead to blocking major enzymes required for viral infections.

The new proposed product will provide a platform to overcome any possible drug resistance or evolved future viral outbreaks, tweeted Abu Dhabi Media Office on Sunday.

“As a national initiative supporting research projects for the post-oil era, the recent major disruptions caused by the novel Covid-19 outbreak have made it even more imperative that we support innovative and forward-thinking projects to support national efforts to curb the spread of the virus and ensure business continuity in the UAE,” said Ahmed Fikri, acting director-general of Sandooq Al Watan, reported news agency WAM.

Sandooq Al Watan is an initiative launched by Emirati businessmen to support research projects.

This project is part of three grants awarded by Sandooq Al Watan to research projects to support the UAE’s efforts to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Projects awarded to University of Sharjah and also the New York University Abu Dhabi will focus on “detecting Covid-19 in a rapid, simple, scalable and cost-effective manner.”

The UAE recently announced that it had reached its target of 15,000 volunteers for the world’s first phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine for Covid-19.

The volunteers include individuals from 107 nationalities participating in the programme, including more than 4,500 Emiratis.

As of August 23, the UAE has detected a total of 67,007 infections within the country.