Develop a CRISPR-Based Antiviral Platform That Can be Used to Treat Patients with COVID-19
Principal Investigator: Brian Rudd
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected over 3 million people and killed over 200,000 worldwide. A safe and effective vaccine will likely take at least 12-18 months, by which time millions more will become infected. One solution is to develop anti-viral therapies, but in the last 50 years, only 4 drugs have been approved to treat diseases caused by single stranded RNA viruses, such as SARSCoV- 2. To speed up the discovery process, the field has started to perform large-scale small molecular screens. However, even this approach takes time, since it is essential to fully understand how a particular inhibitor works before it can be used in the clinic. We propose a different and potentially quicker approach, using CRISPR-based platforms to specifically target and destroy SARS-CoV-2 in infected cells. This approach could inhibit both existing and newly emerging viruses and aid in our understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 infects and replicates in cells.