The University of Liverpool is leading a major new international project to improve our understanding of severe coronavirus infection in humans, together with collaborators from the University of Oxford, Public Health England, the University of Bristol; A*STAR in Singapore; and King Fahd Medical City in Saudi Arabia. Researchers will sequence and analyse samples from humans and animals to create profiles of various coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. The results will help inform the development of new treatments and vaccines to tackle coronavirus infections.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has awarded $5,402,198 (£4,155,536) to support the initial three-year project.
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019 and the associated COVID-19 pandemic, and prior SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV outbreaks, demonstrate the significant threat posed by coronaviruses. Since there are currently no licensed therapeutics or vaccines to prevent or treat infections from these specific viruses or coronaviruses in general, there is an urgent need to support development and evaluation of relevant medical countermeasures.