Fraunhofer IME vs. Corona


iCAIR® - Development of COVID-19 medication


To date, there is neither a vaccine nor drugs for treating COVID-19 patients available. Researchers of the international consortium iCAIR® are working on the development of novel anti-infective agents to treat or prevent clinically significant diseases of the respiratory tract caused by viruses, fungi and bacteria – and they recently started a project aimed at developing medications to combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The Hamburg site of Fraunhofer IME contributes its expertise in drug discovery and drug repurposing based on automated high-throughput technology to this project.


Identification of SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors


Fraunhofer IME recently published a preprint article on a repurposing screen of 5.600 known drugs, clinical candidates and bioactives (Fraunhofer IME repurposing collection), which identified multiple inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro cellular toxicity in a phenotypic format using human (Caco-2) cells. The study was run by Fraunhofer IME in collaboration with the Goethe-University Frankfurt.



Orientation in the flood of data on SARS-CoV-2


With the "COVID-19 Knowledge Space", Fraunhofer SCAI – together with Fraunhofer IME, Fraunhofer IAIS, the Information Center for Life Sciences ZBMED and other research partners – is opening a new kind of knowledge space with analysis tools and information on COVID-19. This website provides central services that allow access to publicly available data on current COVID-19 research. Fraunhofer IME at its site in Hamburg will contribute its expertise in linking chemical information of drug molecules with antiviral properties against COVID-19 and other data, such as toxicity and possible side effects.


Using plant biotechnology against SARS COV-2


In the fight against pandemics, the rapid availability of appropriate diagnostic kits and the emergency production of vaccines and antiviral drugs are essential. In the latest issue of the renowned journal "Trends in Plant Science", plant biotechnologists discuss what makes plants attractive as a fast, scalable production system for vaccines and antiviral drugs or for the production of protein antigens and antibodies for diagnostic kits. Co-author is Prof. Stefan Schillberg from Fraunhofer IME in Aachen.



“We will rise to this challenge”

Interview with Prof. Dr. Gerd Geißlinger, Executive Director of the Fraunhofer IME and Medical Research Officer of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.


Repurposing as a strategy in the fight against COVID-19


The Division for Translational Medicine of the Fraunhofer IME will be providing the key link between biologists and data scientists in the E4C consortium, which has received a grant of 3 million euros by the European Commission (EC) as part of the EC’s emergency funding to counter the coronavirus pandemic. Under the leadership of the Italian company Dompé, the consortium will combine virtual and natural screening methods to identify both novel and existing compounds for the treatment of patients infected by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.