PHILADELPHIA – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded Integral Molecular $1 million to enable the application of Integral Molecular’s technology platforms to aid in the discovery of vaccines and therapeutics to combat COVID-19.
Integral Molecular’s Shotgun Mutagenesis Epitope Mapping platform precisely identifies where antibodies bind to their target proteins, and will be used to design an improved vaccine and to identify the best therapeutic antibody candidates and combination cocktails.
SARS-CoV-2 Reporter Virus Particles are safe and non-replicating virus particles that display the coronavirus spike protein, the major viral protein targeted by the immune system. Reporter viruses provide developers an alternative to using live infectious virus, allowing antibodies, therapeutic drugs, and serum from vaccinated patients to be rapidly tested under safe laboratory conditions.
The company will use its Membrane Proteome Array platform of 6,000 human proteins to identify additional proteins that allow the virus to invade cells, helping to explain how the virus has been able to spread so quickly. The company’s Membrane Proteome Array platform has already been used to identify multiple receptors used by other viruses.
“We are pleased to support the scientific community around the world with our expertise and technologies in response to this pandemic,” said Benjamin Doranz, President and CEO of Integral Molecular. “We are fortunate to have financial support from NIAID to rapidly develop a suite of reagents and solutions that will make an impact on the speed of vaccine development and therapeutic testing.”
Integral Molecular has similarly responded to previous epidemics, including Zika, Ebola, and Chikungunya viruses. Since 2009, Integral has been awarded three consecutive contracts by NIAID to study viral immune responses, publishing over 50 virus-related publications including in high profile journals such as Cell and Nature.
This project has been funded by NIAID/NIH under Contract 75N93019C00073.
About Integral Molecular
Integral Molecular (www.integralmolecular.com) is the industry leader in discovering and characterizing therapeutic antibodies against membrane proteins, an important group of drug targets found on the surfaces of cells and viruses. Integral Molecular’s technologies have been integrated into the drug discovery pipelines of over 300 biotech and pharmaceutical companies to help discover new therapies for cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and viral threats such as SARS-CoV-2, Ebola, Zika, and dengue.