Part of the Oxford response to the Covid-19 has taken place in the Oxford Antiviral Drug Discovery Unit of the Oxford Glycobiology Institute led by Prof Nicole Zitzmann. Prof. Zitzmann and her team in collaboration with other virologists from the University and support of volunteers from SGC, setup an initiative for compound/biologics cellular screenings.
The team had started screening with FDA approved and generically available compounds which had been ranked according to their proposed antiviral effects. Screening of compounds at earlier stages of development and for targeted virus specific drug design was also part of this effort.
Juliane Brun, Michelle Hill and JL Kiappes were the core team who setup and executed the compound experimental assays. They have established and validated the cellular toxicity assay using Calu-3 cells and the SARS-CoV-2 antiviral assays for compound screening.
This screening effort resulted in an open access tool for tracking SARS-CoV-2 cellular assays data from around the globe, complementing those performed by members of the Zitzmann Lab at the University of Oxford SARS-CoV-2 CL3 core facility (http://sarscov2.assaytracker.net). The site also contains information related to the chemistry of the tested compounds. More than 200 drugs have been tested so far. A pre-print of the research results can be found at: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.29.339317v1
15th February 2021