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27 May 2020

Supercomputers to help Belarusian scientists design antiviral medications

Supercomputers will help Belarusian scientists design medications to fight the coronavirus, BelTA learned from Andrei Ivanets, Chief Scientific Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, on 26 May.

The official said: “We’ve largely redirected our research efforts towards fighting the coronavirus infection. The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus has worked out a plan of scientific research, which includes R&D projects of virtually all our departments. We intend to use bioinformatics techniques, supercomputers to find new potentially effective medications to fight the coronavirus. It will allow considerably reducing the time costs in the chain of invention of chemical compounds, their synthesis, and trials.”

The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus has set up a chemical and pharmaceutical cluster, which is working hard primarily to create molecule-based diagnostic solutions and medications. The Bioorganic Chemistry Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus makes BKV DNA reagent kits, which the Applied Science Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology uses to diagnose a number of infections, including COVID-19. The Physical and Organic Chemistry Institute has come up with technologies for modifying PCR analysis on the basis of synthetic oligonucleotides. The Belarusian company ODO Primetech in association with this institute has started making panels for analyzing four targets of the coronavirus RNA.

Belarusian chemists are also working on new filtering materials for purifying liquids and gases. In particular, fibrous ionites are in development. They are now used for absorbing viruses from water media. “We are researching ways to adapt these materials in order to cleanse air from viruses, including COVID-19,” the secretary noted.