The Academy has launched a new survey and database to map ongoing and emerging COVID-19 preclinical drug development research activities to help researchers and funders identify opportunities for collaboration, avoid duplication of effort and prioritise the most promising research.
COVID-19 preclinical drug discovery and development
The Academy has launched a new survey and database to map ongoing and emerging COVID-19 preclinical drug development research activities to help researchers and funders identify opportunities for collaboration, avoid duplication of effort and prioritise the most promising research. The survey and database can both be found at http://covidpipeline.acmedsci.ac.uk/
The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge for society and it is vital that biomedical and health research rises to this challenge to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic, save lives and prevent any reoccurrence. The UK’s outstanding life sciences sector will enable it to make a significant contribution to the global research effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic through drug discovery research and its intimate alignment with clinical programmes.
This rapid response project is mapping the landscape of COVID-19 preclinical drug discovery and development across the UK and beyond. We have produced a resource that will provide a comprehensive overview of preclinical research into developing novel therapeutic targets, new molecular entities and repurposing existing medicines. This resource will enable researchers and funders to quickly identify opportunities for collaboration, avoid duplication of effort and prioritise the most promising research.
This project is being driven by a group of experts with a broad range of research expertise and experience. More details on this group can be found in the 'Expert group' tab.
Depending on the outcome of this mapping exercise, the project may expand its remit beyond this to include a coordinating role as the drug development response to COVID-19 rapidly ramps up.
The scope for this project includes all aspects of preclinical drug development from target definition, through to hit and lead optimisation and screening, assay development and pharmacokinetic/dynamic testing. This includes all modalities of biological therapies (e.g. small molecules, biologics, RNA-based therapies etc.) and both novel and repurposed therapeutics.
The project’s overall aims are to:
- Ensure that ambitious and creative drug development research forms part of the national response to COVID-19.
- Map ongoing and emerging COVID-19 preclinical drug discovery and development research and make this map freely available to researchers and funders.
- Highlight the immediate and longer-term research priorities for COVID-19 preclinical drug development, encompassing research questions, infrastructure, and resources.
An expert group has been convened to represent a broad range of virology, drug discovery and translational science expertise. The core coordinating group includes:
- Professor Michael Malim FRS FMedSci, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Head of School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences, King's College London (Chair)
- Professor Wendy Barclay FMedSci, Action Medical Research Professor of Virology, Imperial College London
- Dr David Hughes, Lecturer, University of St Andrews
- Dr Melanie Lee CBE FMedSci, Chief Executive Officer, LifeArc
- Dr Gemma Nixon, Senior Lecturer in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Liverpool
- Professor Massimo Palmarini FMedSci, Director of MRC Centre for Virology Research, MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
- Dr Rab Prinjha FMedSci, VP Head of Adaptive Immunity and Immuno-epigenetics Research Unit, GlaxoSmithKline
- Professor David Stuart FRS FMedSci, MRC Research Professor, University of Oxford
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