Coronavirus: CompBioMed Partner Activity

In addition to the activities of UCL and LRZ described here and here, other research being conducted by CompBioMed partners in the fight against coronavirus include:

Janssen – Janssen is active on several fronts in tackling the virus, including in the development of a possible preventive vaccine candidate using similar technology to their investigational Ebola vaccine that is currently deployed in Africa. They are also seeking treatment solutions to COVID-19 in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Janssen are also reviewing known pathways in coronavirus pathophysiology to determine whether previously tested medicines can be used to help patients survive COVID-19 and reduce the severity of disease in non-lethal cases. Full details can be seen here.

SURFsara – SURFsara has opened a call for applications focused on COVID-19 research. “Computing time on National Computer Facilities” is a funding scheme that grants researchers and research groups access to national advanced computational facilities, CPU and GPU cores including the necessary storage, software and technical expertise. Fighting COVID-19 requires extensive research contributing to our understanding of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and our ability to respond to the pandemic. Given the urgency and overall public importance of COVID-19 research, NWO and SURF launch a COVID-19 Fast Track as part of this Compute Call. For research on this topic, a shortened application process will operate, aiming to provide access to national high performance computing and data infrastructure for research.

University of Sheffield – Scientists and clinicians from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have joined a UK consortium to map how COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreads and behaves. Backed by the UK government, a £20 million investment will allow the consortium to work together – and through whole genome sequencing – to create valuable intelligence that could provide breakthroughs in how to fight this, and future pandemics; saving lives around the world. A summary can be found here.

Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) – BSC is devoting a huge amount of core hours to coronavirus-related research on the supercomputer MareNostrum 4, a 13.7 Petaflops machine. The core hours are being assigned to the Horizon 2020 EU funded project Exscalate4CoV. The primary objective of E4C is to exploit the potential of supercomputing combined with life science scientific skills in Europe to better and quickly face pandemic situations of supranational interest. Read more here.

LRZScientists pursuing research in the realm of SARS-CoV-2 are given expedited access to HPC resources at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. As of June 2020, LRZ has awarded nearly 60M core hours of computing time on its HPC systems to researchers from Bavaria, Germany and Europe via the GCS as well as PRACE Fast Track programs. There are to date four projects from the areas of biophysics, biochemistry, pharmacology and virology which run on LRZ systems. Using different methods, including big data analytics methods, machine learning or molecular dynamics simulations, all projects support the search for drugs and active components as well as the discovery of antibodies. For more details, please see here

AstraZeneca – CompBioMed Associate Partner AstraZeneca is engaging with international health authorities and governments in response to the outbreak, providing their science and technology expertise to authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through their scientific expertise in infectious disease and proprietary antibody discovery technology, they have rapidly mobilised their research efforts to discovering novel coronavirus-neutralising antibodies as a treatment to prevent COVID-19 disease. their teams are now focused on identifying monoclonal antibodies to progress into clinical trial evaluation. Read more here.

Other – Several of CompBioMed2’s core partners are currently in the preliminary stages of exploring how they can adapt their current research approaches to explore coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease. We will keep you updated with these developments on the CompBioMed website and our Twitter account @bio_comp.