Sandia is working on creating a deployable antiviral countermeasure for COVID-19 using CRISPR-based technology. Once the research is complete, the antiviral will be able to be customized to respond to many different viruses, including coronavirus. The team is conducting proof-of-concept trials now. The goal of this research is to find new, “reloadable” countermeasures for viral outbreaks that do not have to be re-invented every time. Once the research is complete, the antiviral will be able to be customized to respond to many different viruses, including coronavirus. This project is funded by the Department of Defense through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Improved Neutralizing Antibody Development
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are now a common platform for “biologic” medical countermeasures. Sandia researchers, in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are using structure-based computational design to develop therapeutic antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and engineering these antibodies for enhanced immune-protective characteristics and efficient lung-tissue penetration. If successful, the use of this structure-based computational design to rapidly redesign existing mAbs for neutralization of related viral types and subtypes could eliminate the need for discovery of entirely new mAbs using traditional pipelines.