To support research into treatments for coronavirus infections, the American Chemical Society’s data division CAS has released a dataset containing 50,000 compounds with potential antiviral properties.

The CAS Covid-19 antiviral candidate compounds dataset is open source and contains information on antiviral compounds as well as molecules with similar chemical structures to known antivirals. With the development and approval of a Covid-19 vaccine likely to take many months, CAS hopes that its compound collection may accelerate the discovery of substances that could be repurposed for treatments in the short-term.

‘This initial dataset … will enable researchers, as well as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, to make novel connections between previously published chemical research to hopefully accelerate treatments for this disease,’ said CAS president Manuel Guzman in a statement.

The collection is the first of its kind to be contributed to the Allen Institute for AI’s Covid-19 open research dataset – a free resource comprising thousands of publications that could be relevant for researchers trying to understand the disease.

Correction: The name of the CAS division was updated on 15 April 2020.