COVID-19 Variant Supplement – Drug repurposing for the rapid development and evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 antivirals

Côté, Marceline | $50,000

Ontario University of Ottawa 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

The initial symptoms of COVID‑19 are fever, shortness of breath and a dry cough. For some patients, the disease progresses to pneumonia as the infection spreads to the lung and leads severe inflammation. These severe symptoms can cause difficulties for the lungs to oxygenate the blood and can lead to death. There are currently no antivirals against SARS-CoV2, the causative agent of COVID-19, and development of new molecules can take years to reach patients. As the COVID‑19 epidemic is progressing rapidly, the need for antiviral therapy is urgent. Therefore, our goal is to use our current arsenal of approved drugs already tested for their safety and used in the clinic for various conditions and repurpose them to treat COVID-19. In this rapid response grant, we propose to identify drugs with activity against SARS-CoV2 in vitro and in vivo and contribute to the global COVID‑19 response and provide a therapeutic option for patients developing life-threatening disease.

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