BEAT-COVID – Built-up Existing and Advanced Therapy strategies against COVID-19

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The corona pandemic highlights the need to prepare against emerging pandemic-spreading infections by establishing platform technologies for the rapid development of new antiviral strategies. Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs), especially those based on genes, are particularly interesting and are promising therapies for infectious diseases. As a platform technology, they can be used not only in the context of the current pandemic against SARS-CoV-2, but also against future, currently unknown pathogens in a very targeted manner against respective virus-specific targets. The further development of highly specific inhalable antibodies for the regulation of the excessive immune response in lung failure also represents promising therapeutic approaches.

Coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, the BEAT-COVID project involves, alongside the Fraunhofer Institutes for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Silicate Research ISC, for Applied Polymer Research IAP and for Reliability and Microintegration IZM. The project consortium focuses on novel therapies for the treatment of COVID-19 in particular and infectious diseases in general. The team will develop novel therapeutic strategies to inhibit the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into respiratory epithelial cells. These could be used to reduce viral replication together with future vaccination strategies to prevent COVID-19 disease. Another project goal is the development of a therapy to inhibit the excessive immune response of COVID-19 by inhalation of anti-inflammatory antibodies. Fraunhofer IZI contributes to the project with its long-standing expertise in terms of production and preclinical evaluation of ATMPs, biomolecules and vaccines. The departments Preclinical Development and Validation and GMP Process Development / ATMP Design as well as the Preclinical Validation Unit are involved in the project.

Partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM (Coordination)  |  www.item.fraunhofer.de/en
  • Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies TLZ-RT at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC  |  www.isc.fraunhofer.de/en
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP  |  www.iap.fraunhofer.de/en
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM  |  www.izm.fraunhofer.de/en

Support

This work was supported by the Fraunhofer InternaI Programs under Grant No. Anti-Corona 840261.