SARANAC LAKE—Trudeau Institute and Ampersand Biosciences have received a $596,519 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop tests that help COVID-19 researchers assess the effectiveness of new vaccines under development.
As part of the two-year Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant, which will begin in September, Trudeau will produce monoclonal antibodies for Ampersand. In turn, Ampersand will include those antibodies in tests—or reagents—it produces for use by immunology researchers.
Trudeau Institute researchers played a key role in confirming the effectiveness of two approaches to fighting the novel coronavirus, according to a pair of papers published this winter.
Both projects relied on pre-clinical studies carried out at Trudeau on behalf of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), which developed the vaccine and treatment. One, which tested a new COVID-19 vaccine, was published in Cell Reports. The other, which tested a monoclonal antibody treatment aimed at infected individuals, was published in Nature Immunology.
WRAIR is a leading researcher of diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola and dengue. It relied on Trudeau’s laboratory expertise to verify the effectiveness of the vaccine and treatment before moving to clinical trials.
“We have really extensive experience and knowledge of how to work with pathogens,” said William Reiley, Ph.D., head of research services at Trudeau. “Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, we’ve been developing models to conduct preclinical, early developmental stage testing of vaccines, therapeutics and monoclonal antibodies.”
Trudeau Institute’s efforts to combat COVID-19 and tick-borne illnesses have received a $150,000 boost from the Cloudsplitter Foundation.
The gift from Cloudsplitter, which supports organizations dedicated to improving the environment, economies and lives of people in the Adirondacks, will support a new lab established by Trudeau in 2020.
Professor Barry Bloom delivers annual Steinman lecture, connects TB lessons to work today
A leading global health expert said last week that researchers know they can create a vaccine to protect against COVID-19, but it’s still too soon to predict how effective the first vaccines will be.
Dr. Barry Bloom, a renowned immunologist who has spent his career easing the impact of tuberculosis and leprosy on developing nations, was at the Trudeau Institute on July 27 to deliver the annual Ralph M. Steinman Memorial Lecture. Trudeau named Bloom an honorary trustee at the event. A video of Bloom’s presentation can be found here.
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