A research project for a targeted therapy against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection
A fundamental challenge to treat people with COVID-19 today and to protect our communities in the future
Since March 2020, the researchers of the MAD (Monoclonal Antibody Discovery) Lab of the Toscana Life Sciences Foundation (TLS), coordinated by Professor Rino Rappuoli, are engaged in a research project for the development of human monoclonal antibodies in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection (new Coronavirus), aiming at developping a targeted therapy.
The scientific approach is based on the identification of monoclonal antibodies starting from the blood of the convalescent people, which the Foundation was able to use for its research thanks to the precious collaboration with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases L. Spallanzani in Rome and the University Hospital of Siena.
Following the spread of the coronavirus, we promptly launched the project by adding a dedicated line of research, with the resources currently available. Furthermore, thanks to important funds received and to the donations received through a fundraising campaign also promoted an supported by Coop, it was possible to continue the research project: the resources collected, in fact, have been used mainly for the preparation of equipment and the adaptation of the laboratories and, above all, for the recruitment of young and talented researchers who are making an important contribution to the project.
The skills and commitment of the research group have made it possible to select J08, the most powerful monoclonal antibody capable of neutralizing the virus (in vitro and in vivo tests), produced on a large scale to begin the phase of clinical trials, which verify safety and efficacy of the therapy.
For the phases following that of discovery of monoclonal antibodies, our Foundation is counting on other important fundings and the therapy is now on stage II/III of clinical trials.
But scientific research never stops and supporting it means ensuring that it can continue to represent a response to important health challenges, a concrete opportunity for many young people and a strategic asset for the entire Country.