The drug platform at SciLifeLab initiates collaboration with Medivir AB to find potential inhibitors of SARS CoV-2

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The pharmaceutical platform at SciLifeLab announces today that it is entering into a research collaboration with Medivir AB. The aim is to find potential inhibitors of the major protease in SARS CoV-2, Mpro, an essential non-structural protein required to regenerate the virus. To identify potential inhibitors and evaluate active substances as potential drug development candidates, the drug platform will use a unique protease-targeted substance library, developed at Medivir. Data for up to 100 of the major inhibitors will be published online by SciLifeLab, freely available for drug development efforts aimed at combating covid-19.

The project is led by Kristian Sandberg,

associate professor at Uppsala University, Co-Director of SciLifeLab’s drug platform and research leader for the Nevermore COVID project. The project is part of SciLifeLab’s national research program on covid-19, which is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation with a total of SEK 50 million. The project aims to establish a so-called open science collaboration at SciLifeLab with both industry and academic research groups in Sweden and abroad, to detect antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2.

– SciLifeLab has established a national covid-19 research program together with universities across the country, and one aspect of the program focuses on discovering new inhibitors and possible drugs that block the virus and its effects in human cells. The collaboration between Medivir and SciLifeLab’s drug platform is an excellent example of how public-private partnerships between industry and Swedish universities can enrich the covid-19 program, says Professor Olli Kallioniemi, Director of SciLifeLab.

We have gathered a team of ten top researchers from Sweden,

Great Britain and the Netherlands in a joint project that aims to support the researchers’ ambitions to develop a cure for covid-19. Medivir AB provides unique opportunities with its protease-oriented substance library. Our job on the drug platform is to ensure that the data generated reaches the standard required for industrial development, says Kristian Sandberg, Co-Director of the drug platform at SciLifeLab.

– We are very pleased to be able to contribute with parts of our unique resources in the protease area and together with SciLifeLab’s drug platform participate in this collaborative project that addresses such an important medical need, says Medivir’s head of research, Professor Fredrik Öberg.

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