The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by coronavirus SARS-COV-2, has made a huge impact on health, health care systems, social interactions and the economy. Importantly, anti-viral therapeutics that directly limit or prevent viral replication are lacking.
In a new TKI-LSH public private partnership project by Health Holland entitled ‘CLEAR COVID-19’, laboratories from the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht University and the private parties First Health Pharmaceuticals, Vossensteyn Biomedical, Single cell discoveries and QVQ Holding B.V. new epithelial models will be developed from nasal brushing obtained from SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. These models may allow simulation of viral infections in a dish and selection of candidate antiviral drugs. These new approaches will help to prioritize candidate antiviral drugs for further drug development and may lead to rapid clinical testing dependent on the identified hits.
QVQ Holding BV will contribute to this research by providing single domain antibody fragments (VHH or sdAbs) from llama heavy chain only antibodies (HcAbs) directed against nuclear and spike proteins of SARS-COV-2 virus which are currently under development with partners of QVQ.