News & Views

  • Scottish Research Centre to Open Screening Hub
    Prof Massimo Palmarini
  • Prof Paul Wyatt

Scottish Research Centre to Open Screening Hub

Jan 18 2021 Read 3326 Times

Funding of £2.5 million is being invested in a COVID-19 drug screening and resistance hub at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) in partnership with medical research charity LifeArc, which has donated £2 million and the MRC which has provided additional funding.

The ground-breaking project, CRUSH (COVID-19 Drug-Screening and Resistance Hub), dedicated to supporting global scientific effort and accelerating vital COVID-19 antiviral innovation drug translation, will be delivered by the partners and the University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit.

Professor Massimo Palmarini, Director of the CVR, said: “The establishment of CRUSH is an exciting development for the CVR and we are delighted to be partnering with LifeArc on this initiative.

“Whilst CRUSH activities will initially focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, the CVR and the CRUSH facility are well positioned to rapidly respond to future viral outbreaks, delivering innovation to address public health crises caused by high consequence viruses. We look forward to working with academic and industry partners to develop CRUSH as a national facility.”

Michael Dalrymple, Executive Director Diagnostics and Science Foresight at LifeArc, said: “At LifeArc, we focus on translation - advancing promising science into medical interventions that improve human health. Our work has become more pressing during the current pandemic. We have now allocated more than £22 million to the search for new medicines and diagnostics to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, and this project is the latest example of that commitment.

Our partnership with the CVR to establish CRUSH will provide the virology research community in the UK with much needed infrastructure and facilities to progress essential research for Covid-19 drug development, other anti-viral therapies and diagnostics, towards patients.” 

Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the Drug Discovery Unit at the University of Dundee, said, “The excellent facilities and expertise being set up within CRUSH are vital to enabling the UK to respond to COVID-19 and the inevitable future strains of viruses in a rapid and effective manner. CRUSH will allow expert drug discovery groups such as the DDU to engage quickly and effectively in the identification of possible drugs to tackle current and future threats. We look forward to working with Massimo and the CVR team to build their capabilities.”

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