Scripps Research to lead $67M effort to develop drugs to fight COVID-19, other viruses

Scripps Research, the La Jolla institute that played a key role in uncovering the evolution and nature of COVID-19, has received $ 67 million in federal funding to lead a consortium that will develop drugs to fight the ever-changing virus.

The money comes from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which also funds eight other drug centers across the country, as coronavirus infections are on the rise again, including in San Diego County.

The consortium will include Caliber, Scripps’s discovery company, as well as some of the nation’s best-known research institutes, including UC San Diego, the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The program will allow scientists “to develop drugs for the existing pandemic so that we can supplement (treatments) such as Paxlovid and Molnupiravir,” said Sumit Chanda, a Scripps’s immunologist who will lead the consortium. “We have to take a combined approach, as we do with HIV and hepatitis C.

“And we have to prepare for the next pandemic by taking medicines in the works and storing them.”

Researchers at all nine NIAID consortia will focus on developing drugs that can be taken in outpatient settings. They will also try to create treatments that would be effective against families of viruses that could cause future pandemics, including Ebola and Marburg high-transmission viruses.

“The hope is to have drug candidates within the first two years of the proposal,” said Arnab Chatterjee, vice president of pharmaceutical chemistry at Calibr. “We have started loading programs that we believe can be developed into drugs.”

Scripps has a long and successful history of drug development.

It played an important role in the creation of Humira, which is used to treat various types of arthritis, as well as Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Humira was the drug with the highest sales to the world in 2020, bringing in more than $ 20 billion for AbbVie.

The institute also helped develop Surfaxin, which is used to treat a respiratory disorder in premature infants.

Scripps is one of the few private, non-profit biomedical institutes in the country run by a fairly large company that seeks to translate basic research into new drug therapies, a process referred to as a “bedside bench”.

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Scripps Research to lead $67M effort to develop drugs to fight COVID-19, other viruses Source link Scripps Research to lead $67M effort to develop drugs to fight COVID-19, other viruses

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