- The Higher Council for Scientific Research will use the funds to speed up the screening of chemical compounds to identify antivirals effective against SARS-CoV-2
- They will also be used to develop new Covid-19 antibody tests
Endesa has donated 200,000 euros to the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) to support research projects in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, it will fund two projects being carried out at the National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC). The first is attempting to identify antiviral drugs for subsequent clinical trials, while the second is to develop new antibody detection tests.
Researchers will look for drugs effective against Covid-19 in chemical compounds sent to CNB-CSIC centres. A team of researchers led by Pablo Gastaminza and Urtzi Garaigorta is screening compounds to determine which ones may be useful against the coronavirus. The team is prioritising screening of drugs that are already approved for use and will then work to generate new molecules. After the compounds are screened, they must undergo clinical tests.
Among the centres that have contributed their libraries of chemical compounds are the Institute of Medical Chemistry (IQM), the Institute of General Organic Chemistry (IQOG), the Margarita Salas Centre for Biological Research (CIBMS), the Institute of Chemical Research (IIQ), and the López-Neyra Institute of Biomedicine and Parasitology (IBPLN).
The second project is led by researchers Hugh Reyburn (immunology), and José Luis Casasnovas (an expert in the structure of viruses), who will produce antiviral proteins through different strategies for use in antibody detection tests.
The president of the CSIC, Rosa Menéndez, thanked Endesa for the donation which “will speed up several priority projects of the Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform for Global Health, and facilitate a complex chain of trials for solutions such as the repositioning of drugs as antivirals and new detection tests”.
Endesa’s CEO, José Bogas, said that “funding institutions and social organisations with necessary resources to expand their work is one of the three pillars of the Endesa's Public Responsibility Plan. This donation to the CSIC is, for us, a perfect example of how we can be useful to society when and where we are most needed”.