New Animal Models for Testing (Victora)

Animal models to support pre-clinical testing of inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 are not very good and not generally available. The SARS-CoV-2 virus enters cells by its ?S? protein attaching to the cell surface protein ACE2. Immunologist Gabriel Victora will use his expertise in application of CRISPR technology to make the mouse ACE2 receptor identical to its human counterpart, with its expression properly controlled. This has the potential to be an ideal model enabling the next step in advancing drug candidates toward clinical testing. Gabriel will also characterize how antibodies that prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection act, focusing on mapping where in the S protein they bind, potentially identifying antibodies that are each effective but act at different sites on the molecule that might be potent combinations for therapy and prevention. These can be used in conjunction with Jeff Ravetch?s humanized Fc receptor mice, enabling an excellent model of human infection in the pre-clinical setting. Gabriel Victora 212-327-8000

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