China’s richest man Jack Ma backs research for coronavirus cure

Jack Ma Foundation owned by China’s richest man will provide 15 million yuan (around 2.1 million U.S. dollars) to support the development of antiviral drugs or antibodies to fight against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In accordance with a deal signed recently between the foundation and Columbia University, the money will be used for supporting a research project led by Dr. David Ho, a world-renowned HIV/AIDS researcher with the university.

David will lead in setting project objectives, conducting research and tracking results, said a source of the foundation based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, with Wuhan as the epicentre, in late December, Ho and many researchers at Columbia University have been following the situation closely and started related work to combat the virus.

In support of this cooperation project, Columbia University has set up a multidisciplinary team involving professionals in virology, molecular biology and chemistry who proposed four different new solutions to tame the pathogen, according to the source.

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