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Young scientists of the NRU BelSU have started the development of anti-coronavirus vaccines and drugs

Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Gene Biology, Center for Virology and Biotechnology "Vector" and the NRU "BelSU" are working on the creation of genetically modified mice, which will become a test system for the development of anti-coronavirus vaccines and drugs

Scientists have developed the concept of creating genetically modified mice for further pharmacological studies. Two human genes (ACE2 and TMPRSS2) are to be embedded in the mice genome. According to scientists, this will make the animals susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thus turning them into the main test system for the development of anti-coronavirus vaccines and drugs. Experts note that these mice will not turn into additional sources of infection, because their susceptibility to the coronavirus can be controlled. Controlled susceptibility is ensured by a stop cassette, a kind of safety lock that prevents the introduction of the humanized ACE2 and TMPRSS2 genes in mice. Under certain conditions, the genes will be released from the safety lock and their protein products will guide the virus into the cell.

- All the reproduction and transportation procedures will be absolutely safe from the epidemiological point of view. Activation of genes will only occur in specialized high degree protection vivariums, one of which is the NRU BelSU Experimental Biological Clinic, - scientists comment.

The antivirals effectiveness research is to start by mid-summer. The NRU BelSU Experimental Biological Clinic will be one of the sites for testing vaccines and drugs.

The scientific work is published in the Research Results in Pharmacology journal.

 NRU BelSU

14.05.2020


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