Discovery of natural products with activity against coronaviruses

The general aim of this proposal is to discover new natural products with antiviral activity against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Our lab has a collection of ~ 7,000 unique bacteria and fungi derived from marine sources that we will use to screen for the production of antiviral compounds. While we do not have the lab infrastructure to directly grow SARS-CoV-2, we will use distantly related human coronaviruses to complete this project. We will be working directly with Nautilus Biosciences CRODA as the partner organization to complete this project. Following the completion of the Mitacs-funded project, we will have generated a selection of promising lead compounds that will be distributed to collaborators for directly testing against SARS-CoV-2. Of the list of natural products that show promising anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, Nautilus Biosciences will develop these compounds further for potential marketability.

Faculty Supervisor:

Russell G. Kerr


Benjamin Johnston


Nautilus Biosciences




Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Prince Edward Island


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