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Drug repurposing for SARS-CoV-2 infection using human organoid culture technology

  • Project Leaders: Francois Jean
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $456000
  • Program/Competition: COVID-19 Rapid Response Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2020
  • Status: Active

In the search for drugs effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection, there are speed and safety advantages to repurposing existing drugs. This project will test thousands of FDA-approved drugs and other clinical-stage compounds alone and in combination with each other to see how effective they are in combating SARS-CoV-2 infections. The most promising potential therapies will be evaluated on a state-of-the-art human airway cell platform developed with collaborator and local biotech leader STEMCELL Technologies, and tested for their ability to inhibit all stages of the virus lifecycle. This project could catalyze the discovery of desperately needed candidate therapeutics for COVID-19. It also leverages the virology, drug discovery, and protein analysis expertise of an interdisciplinary, international team to create a consortium well-positioned to rapidly identify lead therapeutic candidates for emerging pathogens.