New collaboration strives for better understanding of cellular mechanisms of COVID-19

Written by Alex Hyde, Future Science Group

Medicines Discovery Catapult (Cheshire, UK), Retrogenix (High Peak, UK) and Peak Proteins (Cheshire, UK) have entered a new three-way collaboration to support the development process for COVID-19 therapeutic treatments. The collaboration will see the three firms combine resources and expertise to better understand the cellular mechanisms of COVID-19.

In the midst of the current global health crisis, research characterizing the cellular mechanisms of COVID-19 is of critical importance to help guide scientists, doctors and policy makers.

The collaboration will see expertise in protein science and the drug discovery process combined with cellular microarray technology in an attempt to identify any unknown binding proteins or cellular receptors of SARS-CoV-2. It is hoped the identification of such receptors on SARS-CoV-2 could help current drug discovery efforts or guide drug repurposing schemes.

The collaboration will see Retrogenix’s proprietary cell microarray technology used to evaluate primary and secondary target activities when screening COVID-19 proteins generated by Peak Proteins. Jo Soden, Co-Founder and Director (Retrogenix) explained: “By screening against our unique library of human cell surface proteins, Retrogenix has previously been highly successful in identifying viral receptors. Using the same technology, we now have the perfect opportunity to search for new receptors for COVID-19.”

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Mark Abbott, CEO (Peak Proteins) added: “The ability to rapidly produce and provide high quality COVID-19 proteins for use in key research activities has been really important to us. We are delighted to provide our protein production expertise and generate the tailored protein reagents needed for this project.”

Peter Simpson, CSO (Medicines Discovery Catapult) commented: “It is heartening to see the scientific and technical expertise of our three skilled organisations coming rapidly together to respond to this global health crisis. Medicines Discovery Catapult has already established the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab for large scale COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and we are delighted to now provide scientific expertise for this collaborative project that will enhance understanding of COVID-19 and support the global challenge to find therapeutic opportunities.”


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