COVID-19: CCMB and ERPL announce public-private partnership

Hyderabad: The CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad & Eyestem Research Private Limited, Bangalore on Monday announced a public-private collaboration in the fight against COVID-19 under this agreement, CCMB will use Eyestem’s human lung epithelial cell culture system provided as part of its Anti-Covid screening (ACS) platform to understand the molecular and pathological characteristics of the COVID-19 virus with a view to establishing a rational basis for testing potential drugs in vitro.

Commenting on the development, Dr. Rakesh Mishra, Director of CCMB, said “Culturing the virus outside the human host is a technological challenge that needs to be overcome. Eyestem’s cell culture system expresses the ACE2 receptor and other genes that are key determinants of viral entry and replication. We hope that employing this system will allow the CCMB team led by Dr. Krishnan Harshan to grow the virus predictably and thereby open up the potential for drug screening and vaccine development strategies”

Dr. Jogin Desai, CEO of Eyestem agreed and remarked “We are honoured to enter into this research collaboration with one of the premier scientific institutes in India. The ACS platform has been developed by Dr. Rajarshi Pal and his team and is a testament to our depth and expertise in cell therapy and disease modelling. We remain hopeful that CCMB will be able to leverage this platform and advance Covid research that will help humanity in India and abroad”