With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread around the globe, Scripps Research has quickly established an international network of collaborating scientific laboratories to leverage ReFRAME, the world’s leading drug repurposing collection, to find antiviral compounds against the novel coronavirus, according to April 16, 2020 release from Scripps Research. Researchers at Calibr, the Drug Development Division of Scripps Research, are teaming up with scientists from the United States, Europe, and Asia to screen the vast collection of compounds for individual drugs or combinations that may be effective in treating people exposed to COVID-19. “COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health crisis that will only be brought fully under control by effective medical therapies,” said Peter Schultz, PhD, President and CEO of Scripps Research. “Repurposing drugs that have already been approved for use in humans, or compounds for which we have ample safety data, offers the most rapid path to finding an antiviral drug or drug combination that is effective against COVID-19.” Calibr established the ReFRAME collection in 2018 with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to tackle areas of urgent unmet medical need, especially neglected tropical diseases. The collection has since grown to comprise over 14,000 compounds, including drugs that are already being repurposed for a number of diseases. Calibr also developed an open source database containing preclinical and clinical data on these drugs. With such well-characterized therapeutic properties, the compounds can be rapidly screened and advanced into a patient setting, without many of the steps typically required for new drugs to reach that stage.
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