Covid drug screening and 'resistance hub' to be housed in Scotland

A Covid-19 drug screening and “resistance hub” will be established in Scotland after a multi-million-pound funding injection.

The new facility will be based at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR).
The new facility will be based at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR).

The new facility will be based at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR).

The ground-breaking project has received £2.5 million from medical research charity LifeArc to establish a national resource which will initially be dedicated to supporting and accelerating vital Covid-19 antiviral innovation drug translation.

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The facility is being funded by £2m from LifeArc, with additional funding from the Medical Research Council. It will be delivered by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with partners LifeArc and the University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit.

Work in the facility will include studies to investigate promising drug candidates for Covid treatment – and the mechanisms of how they work – alongside the integration of drug screening with the early identification of any possible drug and immune-resistant virus variants to accelerate the investigation process.

Massimo Palmarini, director of the CVR, said: “Whilst activities will initially focus on the Covid-19 pandemic, the CVR and the facility are well positioned to rapidly respond to future viral outbreaks, delivering innovation to address public health crises caused by high consequence viruses.”

Michael Dalrymple, executive director diagnostics and science foresight at LifeArc, said: “We have now allocated more than £22m to the search for new medicines and diagnostics to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, and this project is the latest example of that commitment.

“Our partnership with the CVR to establish [this project] will provide the virology research community in the UK with much needed infrastructure and facilities to progress essential research for Covid-19 drug development, other anti-viral therapies and diagnostics, towards patients.”

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