The Institute of Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), of the University of Valencia and of the CSIC, currently leads five research projects around coronavirus, which have received support from 8 competitive calls and an institutional agreement with the Valencian Government, with a budget total of 3.2 million euros from different sources of financing. The centre also maintains contracts with 7 companies to solve problems related to COVID-19.
While waiting for certain public and private organisations to approve the financing of new projects presented by the I2SysBio to the different current calls, the Institute has the budget to research mainly on three lines: epidemiology and environmental virology, therapy and diagnosis.
In the first case, this research centre located in the Science Park of the University of Valencia works, on the one hand, to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental samples and its potential for indirect transmission; and on the other, in a comparative study of the genomes of the new coronavirus detected in COVID-19 patients, which will help to better understand and predict its evolution and epidemiological potential.
In the field of therapies, two projects related to antivirals and antibody detection have been financed. Based on a fast, safe, cheap, and efficient system, ANTICOR is a high-performance platform for the screening and evaluation of drugs and antivirals that block the entry of SARS-CoV-2. On the other hand, the institute is conducting CoV2TIP, a study to counteract the progression of COVID-19 through the use of therapeutic interference particles (TIPs).
One of the last projects to receive funding is COV-CRISPIS, a new coronavirus diagnostic system – fast, specific, and portable – based on CRISPR-Cas technologies. The responsible researchers and the details of all the aforementioned initiatives can be found in the research projects section of the I2SysBio website.
At the moment, pending the results in different calls, more than 60% of the proposals submitted by the Institute of Integrative Systems Biology have been approved. The projects have already received funding from the COVID-19 Fund of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), from the Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform (PTI) of the CSIC Global Health, which has the support of the MAPFRE Foundation; of the Supera COVID-19 Fund, supported by CRUE, CSIC and Santander Bank, and of the Valencian Government, through the call to the Valencian system of innovation in the fight against COVID-19.
In addition, I2Sysbio is managing contracts with seven private companies interested in analysing the viability of the virus in different environments and materials or in the effect of disinfecting agents, among other issues.