Trinity lab working to develop anti-viral drug against COVID-19
A team of scientists led by Professor Luke O’Neill, immunologist at Trinity College Dublin and a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced grant holder, is working to develop an antiviral drug against COVID-19. The research team is part of the European-wide Innovative Training network INITIATE, which is financed by the European Union, and is collaborating with labs in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The research project focuses on the immune system and an anti-inflammatory metabolite called ‘Itaconate’, a molecule that contains anti-inflammatory properties. Professor O’Neill and his team are currently running tests on the molecule which they hope can help suppress inflammation in the lungs provoked by the coronavirus, thereby protecting people from dying from respiratory problems once COVID-19 is contracted.
Professor O’Neill emphasises the importance of cross-border cooperation amongst researchers during these times of crisis.