A project by NANBIOSIS researchers, focused on COVID-19 detection and therapy, selected in ‘La Marató’ research program
The Scientific Commission of ‘La Marató TV3’ has seleced the project entitled “Diagnosis and treatment of Sars-Cov-2 by triplex formation”, led by Ramon Eritja, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit 29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) from CIBER-BBN and IQAC_CSIC to be financed with € 398,750.00. Verónica Noé from the Fundació Bosch i Gimpera Universitat de Barcelona, the CIBERESP researcher Enrique Calderón Sandubete, from the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital and María Valeria Grazú Bonavía, from the Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragón, INMA (CSIC- UNIZE) also participate in this project.
The edition of this solidarity initiative promoted by the Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals, raised more than twelve million euros to finance research against COVID-19. The project was selected, among the 229 submitted, to receive funding for its development.
“Our project wants to solve two important problems in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: the first is how to quickly and specifically detect people infected by this virus; and the second is that right now we do not have a effective therapy specifically designed to be used against the virus that causes COVID-19 “explains Dr. Eritja.
The project will try to solve both problems using synthetic oligonucleotides with high and specific affinity for viral RNA. “In recent years, a dozen oligonucleotides have been approved by Health agencies (EMA and FDA) for the treatment of genetic diseases such as Duchene muscular dystrophy as well as metabolic diseases such as familial hypercholesterolemia. In the project we will use specific oligonucleotides, procuced at NANBIOSIS U29, to bind viral RNA that could be used in vitro for the selective capture and diagnosis of the SARS-.COV-2 virus, but also in vivo to inhibit the replication of viral RNA “adds Ramón Eritja.
The call for grants from ‘La Marató’ was carried out, exceptionally, between the months of December and January. Until May, the 229 candidate projects have been reviewed electronically, following a process of proven rigor and transparency, coordinated by the Catalan Agency for Quality and Health Evaluation, in which 95 international evaluators have participated. The assessment, among other aspects, of the quality, the methodology, the scientific, health and social relevance, the innovative value and the viability of the candidate works has determined which projects have been financed with the resources of La Marató 2020.
With this new edition from La Marató, the solidarity project of the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation and the Foundation since 1992 an amount of € 216 million have been awarded and a total of 949 research projects hve been promoted, with participation of 9,350 researchers have participated.