NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA) has two projects approved under the exceptional financing promoted by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) to respond to the pandemic by COVID-19. In total, 1.8 million euros will support 66 projects that respond to the needs of the National Health Service through the funding line dedicated to Research 4 COVID-19. The announcement took place on April 21.
Researcher Paula Videira, leader of UCIBIO's Glycoimmunology Group laboratory at FCT NOVA, coordinates the project "GLYCOVID-19 Testing existing glycan-based drugs to neutralize SARS-CoV-12". This workgroup will test compounds based on glycans and convalescent plasma for their potential to neutralize the entry of SARS-CoV-2 during infection. "The tests will take less than three months to be implemented, and the effective compounds may be suggested for clinical trials by the National Health Service," says the researcher. Paula Videira also explains "glycans are the main mediators of coronavirus infections, influencing their entry into cells". The consortium includes, in addition to the FCT NOVA research center UCIBIO, the companies CellmAbs, Pharma73, VectorB2B, and the entities of the SNS, INSA, IPO-Porto, São João Hospital,and the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto.
António Grilo, UNIDEMI coordinator and researcher at FCT NOVA, is in charge of the project "Minimalist emergency pressure-controlled ventilator for COVID-19". The researcher explains that "the minimalist emergency ventilator by controlled pressure will be developed, targeting COVID-19 patients in the intensive care of NHS hospitals. There is a particular focus on Field Hospitals with the need for intrusive ventilation." This workgroup, wich also inludes the research units CTS and LIBPhys, aims to develop a demonstration project, considering the construction of 20 prototypes (10 by the FCT NOVA team and 10 by the team of the Experimental Physical Instrumentation Laboratory of the University of Coimbra - LIP-Coimbra) and the realization of two pilots in an environment hospital. NOVA Medical School equally participates in this consortium.
Congratulations to the victorious teams on the front lines for fighting COVID-19!