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COVID-19 antiviral drugs needed now - MWC researchers

24 April 2020

A group of scientific experts from around New Zealand featuring several investigators from the Maurice Wilkins Centre is calling on the Government to acquire antiviral therapies effective against any future COVID-19 resurgence.



MWC Investigators Professors Kurt Krause (pictured above), Richard Furneaux, Dame Margaret Brimble, Bill Denny, Peter Tyler, James Ussher, and Vernon Ward, and colleagues, penned the call in a recent New Zealand Medical Journal editorial.

The group suggests that the sourcing of safe and effective antiviral treatments for COVID-19 should be a major priority post-lockdown.

"Fortunately, the successful lockdown has brought New Zealand time to prepare for a likely second wave of COVID-19," they wrote. "This means more time to perfect the use of rapid diagnostics and to expand pandemic medical capability. But it also means more time to prepare effective treatments for New Zealanders severely affected by COVID-19."

The authors cast doubt on whether an effective COVID-19 vaccine can be successfully fast-tracked, developed, manufactured, and distributed on a global scale in the near future.

"While waiting on a [COVID-19] vaccine to be developed, it would be prudent to put in place treatments for New Zealanders who might be severely affected by future outbreaks of [COVID-19]."

Read the full editorial in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Pictured: Lead author of the editorial Professor Kurt Krause, MWC Principal Investigator at the University of Otago.