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June 12, 2021

Weizmann Institute of Science initiates drug development process for COVID-19

first_imgWeizmann Institute of Science initiates drug development process for COVID-19 The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Read Article Comments (0) Related Posts By EH News Bureau on April 14, 2020 MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” contract research organisationsCOVID-19COVID-19 proteaseDr Nir [email protected] Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterOxford UniversityPostEraUniversity of British ColumbiaWeizmann Institute of Science Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Share Add Comment News Dr London is collaborating with researchers from Oxford University; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; University of British Columbia; PostEra, EnamineA cross-border initiative led by Dr Nir London, Senior Scientist, Dept of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science has brought together a wide range of players in the drug development process—from academia in four countries, to biotech and contract research organisations, to specialised software companies— in order to accelerate the development of a drug to treat COVID-19.Dr London is collaborating with researchers from Oxford University; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; University of British Columbia; PostEra, and Enamine. Their aim: to develop small molecules to target a key viral protein.The partners have developed the means to characterise the structure of the virus’s main protease—an essential enzyme that is responsible for completing a step in its life cycle. Thus, developing a means to effectively target this enzyme’s activity would be a potential new approach to antiviral treatment. Ramping up research production in a coordinated effort with contract research organisations (CROs) the team members are hoping the effort will lead to promising anti-COVID-19 drug candidate in a matter of few months, which is dramatically faster than typical drug discovery.Dr London and his Weizmann team in the Department of Organic Chemistry are ‘chemical biologists’ who use methods they have developed to identify biological processes – including drug activity – that rely on covalent bonding. They developed an innovative ‘electrophile-fragment’ screening platform, which they have already used in the past to identify potential drug targets. In the past two weeks, they have applied it to the viral protein (isolated for them in the UK) and have identified promising initial hits that can serve as starting points for designing anti-COVID-19 drugs.The Oxford University team went to the Diamond Light Source (the UK’s national synchrotron light source science facility) to determine crystal structures showing how various compounds identified in London’s group bind to the protease’s active site.Altogether, the international group has already identified 78 initial hits against the viral protease, 37 of which are covalent fragments originating from the London lab. The next steps of drug discovery will involve optimising those hits and using the structures of those molecules to identify the most promising candidates, and then generating a drug. Doing so requires not only the work of medicinal chemists, but also chemo-informatics and biochemical design experts. Crowdsourcing for scienceThe researchers are hosting an online, crowdsourcing challenge for medicinal chemists and computer-aided drug-design experts around the world getting them to participate in designing better molecules based on the available fragments. The drug discovery effort will thus be distributed and massively parallelised—that is, scientists everywhere will be working to find the right candidate drugs.Close to 2,000 designs have been submitted so far, and the challenge is ongoing. Post Era’s AI-based computational models are used to prioritise chemical synthesis and drug-binding simulations created using the online platform [email protected], which will then be used to predict binding affinity.Once such promising candidate drugs are identified, the CROs and Enamine will be called upon to synthesise and test the winning few compounds’ safety. Simultaneously, those compounds will be shipped to the researchers’ laboratories around the world—including in the Weizmann Institute of Science —to test for activity against the COVID-19 protease. Promising compounds will then be tested against clinical isolates of the virus. To facilitate the drug discovery process, the researchers have agreed to share all their data openly. All data is available in real time to the entire research community in a true open-science global collaboration.Dr London is supported by the Dr Barry Sherman Institute for Medicinal Chemistry, Moross Integrated Cancer Center, the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for Molecular Design, Rising Tide Foundation, the Joel and Mady Dukler Fund for Cancer Research, the Estate of Emile Mimran, Nelson Sirotsky, and Virgin JustGiving.last_img read more

October 7, 2020

The industrial gas world in 2017 – Part 1

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

August 14, 2020

Nadal seeks 19th Slam title against Medvedev at US Open

first_imgRafael Nadal will play for his 19th Grand Slam title, one shy of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record, after battling past Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on Friday and into his fifth US Open final.The 33-year-old Spaniard dispatched Berrettini 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-1 at Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach a Sunday showdown against Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, who ousted Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3.“Very happy to be back into the final of the US Open,” Nadal said. “It means a lot to be back where I am today after some tough moments at the beginning of the season.”Nadal, who shook off an early season right hip injury to win a 12th French Open title, seeks his fourth US Open crown — one short of the Open-era record of five shared by Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors — to reach the brink of Federer’s mark.“It’s just another chance on Sunday,” Nadal said. “I want to enjoy a day off, have a good practice and Sunday is the day to play my best.”Nadal, into his 27th Grand Slam final, beat Medvedev in last month’s Montreal final in their only prior meeting. But the world number two skipped Cincinnati, where Medvedev was champion the following week.“He’s one of the more solid players on tour,” Nadal said of Medvedev. “He’s making steps forward every single week.“I need to be playing at my best.”Medvedev, in his first Grand Slam final at 23, has gone 20-2 in the past six weeks with runner-up efforts in Washington and Canada, a title in Cincinnati and a breakthrough US Open run.“I’m just happy to be in the final,” Medvedev said. “When I was going to USA, I didn’t know it was going to be this good. So I have to say I love USA.”Medvedev is the first Russian in a men’s Grand Slam final since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open title and the first Russian to reach the US Open final since Safin won the 2000 crown.Nadal has dropped only one set at the Open but was severely tested by 24th seed Berrettini, the first Italian man in the US Open semi-finals since Corrado Barazzutti in 1977.Berrettini denied Nadal on six break points in the first set, jumped ahead 4-0 in the tie-break and seized two set points at 6-4 as the Ashe crowd roared with delight.“Winning the first set would have been big,” Berrettini said. “It’s tough to go a set down with him after more than an hour. I was playing really good.”But the Italian netted two backhand volleys, a baseline backhand and then hit a forehand long to hand Nadal the set.“I was lucky to win that first set,” Nadal said. “First set had been a little bit frustrating. You don’t want to be in a tie-breaker against a player like Matteo after you have missed all those opportunities.”Nadal, who never faced a break point, took his first break for a 4-3 lead in the second set, held twice to take the set, then rolled to victory in two hours, 35 minutes.“I survived at the moment and finally I had the break in the second set and the match changed,” Nadal said. “I played calm more and super aggressive.”US Open fans gave solid applause to Medvedev after earlier-round boos for flashing an obscene gesture and taunts saying he thrived on their jeers for energy to win. He later apologized.Medvedev took the first-set tie-break after Dimitrov netted a forehand and sent another long on the last two points.“The confidence means a lot in this case because I do think he was better player in first set. I do think I was kind of lucky to win it,” Medvedev said. “Then the momentum changed completely.”Dimitrov netted a backhand to surrender a break and the second set in the 10th game. Medvedev broke for a 3-1 lead in the third set and held to the finish.“There’s something strong that makes me win these crazy sets and crazy matches, which maybe two months ago I would have lost,” said Medvedev.Dimitrov, ranked 78th, would have been the lowest-rated US Open men’s finalist since the rankings began in 1973.“Good match overall. I think it was just a few points here and there,” Dimitrov said. “It was a good level.”For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img read more