The antiseptic miramistin may have applications in the fight against harmful viruses, including influenza and coronaviruses, Healthline reports.

Miramistin was developed for the Soviet Union’s Cold War space program. It can kill coronaviruses, influenza A, HPV (human papillomavirus), and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and was secreted away from the West and only now just rediscovered by scientists in the United Kingdom.

Miramistin works because it damages the cell directly and is less likely to cause resistance than penicillin, for instance, which binds to the target cell that can become resistant over several generations of cell replication.

Miramistin has no known genotoxic effects and biodegrades somewhere between 88 and 93 percent.

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