Through the EEA grants – Bilateral Relations program, Luís Emanuel Queirós dos Reis, PhD student enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Program, at Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute – University of Porto (ICBAS-UP), will develop an internship at the Oslo University Hospital (Norway) as part of COVinhib, a project focused on the discovery of potential new drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2.
The progression of COVID-19 from a pandemic to an endemic disease shows the importance of continuing the search for treatments complementing the vaccination effort.
Initially, the project will be mainly based in computational studies, followed by validation assays for antiviral activity. At this stage, the partnership with the Norwegian institution will be essential to assess the inhibitory effect in the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and the human receptor, critical for cell invasion and sustained infection.
This project will be advantageous for both parties, with the compounds identified by the Portuguese partner in computational studies validated in experimental assays with the Norwegian partner, supporting the methodological and technical requirements for the assays.
The final objective is to select compounds with high antiviral activity and reduced toxicity, to be further optimized and integrated in further drug development for new inhibitory compounds for the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway established the EEA Grants, a Multiannual Financial Mechanism, with the objective of reducing social and economic disparities in Europe by strengthening bilateral relations with the Beneficiary States. The Fund for Bilateral Relations, with an allocation of 3M€ under the EEA Grants 2014-2021 scope, wants to support initiatives that aim to strengthen the relations between Portugal and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
An initial online workshop to introduce the general public to this project is programmed for the Monday, 27th of Abril 2023, at 17h00 Local Time (Porto, Portugal). During this short presentation, the project, the research team and main objectives will be introduced.
Link for the workshop: https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/99347959860