Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) has joined efforts to develop therapies for the Covid-19 pandemic with the launch of the Covid Box.

This initiative will provide 80 medicines known to have activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, to researchers working on treatments; MMV hopes to add a further 80 compounds in the coming weeks.

Since the compounds are being provided free of charge to researchers, MMV asks for those who use the compounds to publish their work in the public domain to further support collaborative responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid Box builds on MMV and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative’s Pandemic Preparedness box, which was launched last year. MMV also have a Malaria Box and a Pathogen Box to support open innovation in various areas of infectious diseases.

MMV’s CEO Dr David Reddy explained: “The spread of Covid-19 threatens to compromise control efforts for other infectious diseases like malaria by jeopardising access to life-saving antimalarial medicines and emergency care.

“This pandemic calls for a united front, particularly with regard to research and development of new medicines.

“MMV has assembled the open access Covid Box to help spearhead such a collaborative response.”