Researchers have pored over thousands of compounds to discover two that show great potential in providing antiviral properties. Study at the atomic level has revealed that they are able to fight a particular enzyme that is the key to eliminating viruses.

This rational approach to designing drugs for medicinal use may see more action due to the possible success of this research. More than 100,000 compounds were observed in an atomic manner, running through the national database of compounds to see which have the right properties for this particular application.

There is a tremendous need for antivirals today. Everything from HIV to the common cold will be affected by finding the right antiviral compounds to produce the next generation of medications. Antivirals can be used to prevent pneumonia or AIDS from cutting a life short prematurely, putting them at the top of the medical research industry’s to-do list.

There are over 50 different strains that cause adenoviruses; therefore it is difficult to find a single compound that is effective against all of them. Rather than being able to develop something preventative, it seems more viable to create drugs that can prevent the spread of diseases within the body. This has already been the approach with HIV up to this point.

Researchers were able to look into many compounds by creating a computation to check the proteins in each compound. This helps determine if the compound can perform certain tasks necessary for an antiviral. Of the 30 compounds that the calculations set aside, only two had the desired effect in lab tests. Still, finding these two compounds is a very promising discovery.

The current roadblock is the size of the two molecules. They are both too big to be used in developing drugs. The next step for researchers is to make things more compact so that they can get to work on drug development.