Can C60 be used to combat viruses?

A new reaction has been discovered that shows C60 fullerene derivates can effectively combat viral outbreaks, as well as HIV, herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus. The research was conducted by a collaboration of scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy, Science and Technology, the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics of RAW and other foreign research centres. 

Currently, a staggering 90% of all human infectious diseases are caused by viruses. No life form is safe from viral infection, not even other viruses! For thousands of years, viral epidemics have been causing trouble on Earth, wiping out entire cities and affecting social progress.

Every year, seasonal flu viruses kill on average, 500,000 people worldwide. These viruses, as well as new viruses such as H5N1, H5N8, Avian Flu and Coronavirus are highly resistant to existing antiviral medication.  

The frantic search for a new class of antiviral drugs has been a priority research area in recent years. This is due to the common antiviral drugs having major flaws such as limited bioavailability, toxicity and viruses developing the ability to resist the drugs used against them. In recent years, it has also become more common for people to opt out of options like the ‘Flu Shot’ due to their own belief in its ineffectiveness. 

Now enter, the Nobel Prize Winning C60 fullerene. A carbon allotrope, lending its remarkable properties to its unique shape and size (1 nanometre), making it the most symmetrical molecule both on and off Earth. C60 in its raw form is not bioavailable, regardless of its radiation resistant structure. After undergoing special treatment to encapsulate it into lipid format, such as Papilio Therapeutics Hemp-C60 & Olive-C60, or, undergo treatment that makes it water soluble, the molecule is finally able to work its magic on a living organism. This means that C60, the worlds most powerful antioxidant, with potent antiviral capability and a high resistance to radiation such as 5G and Wi-Fi, can now be used by the body.

Recently, a research team led by Skoltech Professor, Pavel Troshin, begun publishing work on the bioavailability and antiviral properties of the C60 molecule.  

“Our latest study focuses on the synthesis of highly effective inhibitors of dangerous viral infections, such as HIV, different varieties of flu, HSV and CMV, using fullerene derivatives as a multifunctional platform. We discovered a unique inversed Arbuzov reaction that allows fine-tuning the antiviral properties of new compounds and establishing fundamental correlations between a compound’s structure and antiviral activity,” explains the first author of the paper and Skoltech PhD student, Olga Kraevaya.

Quantum chemical calculations in the study indicate that opportunity now exists to use C60 in effective antiviral treatments, capable of combating currently untreatable infections. Although there are no studies currently published suggesting the use of C60 as an effective treatment for Coronavirus, sufficient evidence exists to establish that the molecule contains the ability to be used in antiviral treatments for some of the deadliest viruses on earth such as HIV and influenza. This is promising information given the circumstances of our current global epidemic.


Can C60 combat the viruses?  Information about C60’s already recognised antiviral properties are at your disposal. With this at hand, we encourage you to make your own decision based on the research available. 


 Viral infection or no viral infection, Papilio Therapeutics C60 products display remarkable therapeutic properties.  

Diversion of the Arbuzov reaction: alkylation of C–Cl instead of phosphonic ester formation on the fullerene cage. Ol'ga A. Kraevaya et al. Org. Biomol. Chem., 2019,17, 7155-7160, DOI:10.1039/C9OB00593E.!divAbstract

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