Scientists across the globe are working to find a treatment for COVID-19

Director of Quantative Biosciences Institute at UCSF, Dr. Nevan Krogan, speaks about the lastest advances being made in the fight against coronavirus infections.
4:56 | 03/22/20

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Transcript for Scientists across the globe are working to find a treatment for COVID-19
the race to find a treatment for covid-19. Scientists investigating whether any drugs already in our arsenal can be effective. A frantic fight is under way to slow a global pandemic. We stockpile for wars, but we don't stockpile for infections. Reporter: This is the front lines of a round the clock fight against a silent killer. It's just not clear, and for that reason, it's been a race against the clock. Reporter: Krogan's on a critical mission trying to find any already FDA-approved drugs that can slow the coronavirus. There's a lot of effort out there trying to develop drugs to target the virus which is great, we're taking a different approach. Reporter: Nevan's not focusing on the virus but its host, us, he broke DNA of the virus, 29 proteins and find which of the 20,000 proteins its interacts with, he found about 40, that information critical narrowing down where to focus. A road map for scientists. This man said that he's already found 60 drugs that are already fda approved that interact with the same protein as the virus. He's still looking for more. We're starting at the exact protein, but we're branching out and expanding that list to see what we have to corner off the virus. Reporter: The map and the first round of those drugs have been shipped to be tested. Paris and New York's mt. Sinai's hospital. You said this is all hands on deck? Absolutely. This is all hands on deck. We really have to prioritize right now. Reporter: These scientists just part of the hundreds in labs around the world working together in this new normal of social distancing. Urgency is making us realize that we need to collaborate and I think we're changing the paradigm of how to do science. Reporter: Nevan krogan is hoping to post this map online for all scientists to see and use. This international collaboration he hopes will flatten the curve. A chance to have an impact on something that's a worldwide public health crisis. And joining us this morning from San Francisco is evan krogan. Thank you so much for being with us this morning. I know you haven't been sleeping. I want to start, first, tell us more about the help you're getting from scientists all over the world in this search for a treatment? Yeah, it's actually been quite astounding. Starting here in San Francisco, there's been 22 laboratories that have essentially dropped everything they're doing, this is at the quantitative institute at the university, just to focus on studying this virus together. As you alluded to, we're trying to generate this map. We finalized this map. There are several hundred proteins we identified in the human cell that the virus hijacks during the course of the infection. Now we have identified as you said over 60 drugs and compounds that can have an effect. Unfortunately we don't have the virus growing here. But scientists in New York and in Paris, do. We're testing those drugs. They were key in identifying those drugs and compounds. I know you're waiting on test results from that first batch of drugs that you shipped out, when will have those results and what's your next step that scientists like you will take? Well, we sent out ten drugs last week to both New York and Paris, and I'm waiting on a phone call in the next couple of hours from mount sinai, I'm hoping to hear some positive results. Scientists in Paris said, tomorrow, they'll have the first set. We sent another 12 drugs, they'll be testing those shortly thereafter. We're posting all of our findings by the end of the day on opensource publication so that people can see our proteins and our drug predictions, see if they want to test them and come up with other predictions. So this information will be available to the community very, very soon. Such amazing work you guys are doing. Thank you so much for your time this morning, nevan. He's posting that map online for all scientists to see. A rare moment in time they put aside their egos and working together on one cause. If we can find treatment it's possible not just flatten the curve, bend the curve, and kudos to you, your science background shining through this morning. We love it. Let's check the weather with our weather nerd, rob Marciano.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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