Skip to main content


Onze wetenschappers screenen duizenden moleculen om een geneesmiddel tegen COVID-19 te vinden

Our scientists are screening thousands of molecules to find a cure for COVID-19

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak at the end of 2019, Janssen has been contributing in various ways to solutions to control this pandemic. From the moment the genetic code of the virus became known, a research team in Leiden has been working continuously on the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus. A vaccine helps to greatly reduce the spread of the virus, but does not offer a solution for people who have already become ill. That is why parties around the world are searching for a cure for COVID-19: a drug that can prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in the body of patients, allowing them to heal faster and thus helping to relieve the pressure on the healthcare system.

In order to find a cure against COVID-19 as quickly as possible, Janssen is collaborating with the Rega Instituut of KU Leuven to screen existing drugs for their effect against the coronavirus. Our colleagues Sandra de Meyer and Marnix van Loock are part of the team working on this.

"One of the main causes that makes drug development a long process," explains Sandra de Meyer, "is that you have to demonstrate that the safety profile of the drug is acceptable for use in patients. We already know the drugs we are screening have an acceptable safety profile in other indications". This provides a framework for further clinical development. When a promising antiviral is found, the team can thus immediately set up a clinical study. Marnix van Loock looks ahead: "Now that screening is in full swing, and thanks to our unique collaboration with the Rega Institute team, the timeline for finding a suitable treatment could possibly be just months instead of the usual years".

Would you like to know more about this collaboration and how screening works? Read the interview with our colleagues Sandra de Meyer and Marnix van Loock on the Johnson & Johnson website.