Working at a breakneck pace, a team of hundreds of scientists has identified 50 drugs that may be effective treatments for people infected with the coronavirus.

Many scientists are seeking drugs that attack the virus itself. But the Quantitative Biosciences Institute Coronavirus Research Group, based at the University of California, San Francisco, is testing an unusual new approach.

The researchers are looking for drugs that shield proteins in our own cells that the coronavirus depends on to thrive and reproduce.

Many of the candidate drugs are already approved to treat diseases, such as cancer, that would seem to have nothing to do with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.