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The first target is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and subsequent ones may include Tuberculosis (TB). SARS is believed to be caused by a virus belonging to the corona family, similar to one which can cause gastroenteritis. In general, antibiotics are of little use against a viral infection and survival can depend on the body's own immune system. Vaccines can play a valuable role priming the immune system to respond to viral proteins, but only if the outer surface of the protein does not rapidly mutate and change creating different strains (like HIV does). The ideal drug inhibits the development of the virus by interacting at a site or pocket of the protein much like a key turns in a lock.

The drug target is the active site of a protease which is a key enzyme in the coronavirus polyprotein and quite unlike other viral and human proteins. The results will be made available to recognised research groups around the world.