COVID-19: CSIR-CDRI to carry out sequence analysis of samples to identify mutations

CSIR-CDRI will carry out sequence analysis studies on the samples received from KGMU to identify mutations that might impact therapeutic strategies that are being implemented. Mutations will be mapped on corresponding proteins & in silico studies on possible therapeutic candidate molecules will be carried out

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New Delhi: CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow has inked an MoU for collaborative research in COVID-19 with King George Medical University, Lucknow to sequence the virus strains that are from patient samples in Uttar Pradesh.  A team has been put into place for analyzing whether changes to the viral sequences, if any, will impact proposed treatment strategies. It is known that at least 8 different variants of the virus are causing the COVID-19 infection. Initially, a few patient samples will be sequenced. Digital and Molecular Surveillance will be carried out on the basis of this work.

Apart from that, the Target-based screening systems too shall be initiated. CSIR-CDRI has a diverse library of molecules and these have been screened using in silico approaches against a panel of drug targets from Covid Sars-2.   The identified hits will be evaluated in a preliminary drug-target based screen (primary screen). The m-protease, CL-proteinase, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, Spikeprotein-ACE2 system, and other targets are presently being worked on. Their binding/ inhibition will also be evaluated in in vitro and in vivo systems with the help of sister laboratories and KGMU.

MoU signing ceremony.

“The teamwork would be very beneficial to fight against COVID-19, and the contribution of KGMU in this project will help us in our ongoing research work on COVID-19,” remarked Professor Tapas Kumar, Director, CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow.

One of the fastest ways to get therapeutics to the patient is through repurposing known drugs against COVID-19 infection. Here CSIR-CDRI has identified several candidate Drugs for repurposing and will develop it further under the collaboration.

Professor Amita Jain will lead the team of scientists of KGMU while Professor R. Ravishankar will lead the team of scientists from CSIR-CDRI. Dr Raj Kamal Tripathi a virologist of CDRI and an alumnus of KGMU is leading all the screening related work at CSIR-CDRI.