Polish Innovators response to the pandemic
Innovators around the world are working on solutions that support humanity response to Covid-19. Projects aimed at fighting the virus and the results of the pandemic are developed also by the Polish scientific community and startups.
Important research of prof Marcin Drąg from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology and the team provides data for anti-COVID19 drug design. The scientists analyzed enzyme necessary for reproduction of SARS-CoV-2. They made publicly available their research on substrate preferences of the enzyme showing i.e. to which amino-acids the enzyme binds itself. The research would help to identify the inhibitor of the enzyme. The work may also be used for designing effective virus tests.
National Oncology Institute in Warsaw in consortium with universities and research institutions starts development of a combination of bacteriophage and nanoantibody as a therapy for COVID-19. Nanoantibody would enable to recognize SARS-CoV-2 and bacteriophage would stop the virus from spreading. The project is financed by the government Medical Trials Agency.
According to the Foundation for Polish Science, prof Jacek Jemielity from the Warsaw University and prof Jakub Gołąb from the Warsaw Medical University and their teams are working on a RNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The work is based on experience with the therapeutic mRNA production technology developed i.a. by prof Jemielity. Both professors are the members of ExploRNA’s team, a university spin-off which develops the improved mRNA production technology.
The scientists from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, including prof Krzysztof Pyrć’s virology group and a team led by prof. Marek Sanak from the Collegium Medicum focus on mechanisms of immunology response to SARS-CoV-2, understanding of which is critical for the therapy design. The team lead by prof Pyrc also published the data presenting efficiency of using fully differentiated human airway epithelium cultures to study the infection with SARS-CoV-2.
According to WPD Pharmaceuticals, an international biotech with a strong Polish scientific and business team, in vivo tests of their anti-viral drug are promising. The drug candidate WP1122 would act as a dual inhibitor of glycolysis and glycolysation, and therefore, limit virus ability to replicate.
Ardigen communicates that their Microbiome Translational Platform is able to support translational research on SARS-CoV-2. Technology platform for AI- powered exploration of metagenomic information of microbiome developed by Ardigen is able to provide insight on microbiome interactions with the virus and data for exploration of microbiome potential to support therapy.
SensDx in cooperation with the Jagiellonian University and Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, is developing new diagnostic test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Advanced technology of bioelectric microsensors is used for development of an ultrafast test aimed for use outside of the laboratory.
ScopeFluidics communicated working on point-of care, rapid COVID-19 test that can return results in just 15 minutes. The Company would utilize their microfluidic based system for molecular diagnosis PCR-One.
Genomtec is using its innovative, patented diagnostic device for amplification and detection of DNA and RNA fragments and method of detection (Streamlined Nucleic Acid Amplification Technology) for development of ultra-fast test. Reported expected testing time is 15 minutes.
Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań is working on its own test which uses components produced by the Institute and locally produced, accessible reagents.
Warsaw Genomics also engaged in the fight against the epidemic. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health and private companies the Company uses its expertise and equipment to perform tests detecting the virus using RT-PCR method. Hospitals and medical personnel may apply directly to the Company to perform tests at no cost.
Scientists from the Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering of Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw have developed a device that allows independent lung ventilation. Where the availability of medical ventilators is limited, the device also allows for simultaneous ventilation of two patients with one ventilator and independent control of ventilator’s parameters for each patient. The device, called Ventil should enter clinical trials very soon.
Polish startups and young companies provide various telemedical solutions that increase efficiency of the healthcare providers.
Telemedical wristband developed by SidlyCare has already been used for monitoring of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection suspicion. By reporting on health conditions and patient’s location it allows to limit the medical staff involvement and to increase the patient’s safety.
Symptom analysis software developer, Infermedica, has prepared and published dedicated API endpoints for COVID-19 risk assessment. Medical background is based on WHO protocols and daily transmission reports. The goal of the work is to support development of apps and websites with patient screening protocols.
A company developing telemedical solutions, Telemedi.co provided a platform for remote consultations, where retired doctors may consult patients remotely and, therefore support the health system during the crisis.
Medapp, a provider of advanced analytical telemedical systems offered to the Polish government free of charge access to the system that enables remote monitoring of patients’ temperature and providing alerts to medical institutions.
Unprecedented mobilization of the community around the globe gives hope for overcoming the current crisis with the power of science. Many of the research results, including some of listed above are shared freely and openly. Fingers crossed.
Szymon Bernat, Innomedbook