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Scientists to grow novel coronavirus in human cells for vitro testing

As per the CCMB scientists, the team will use Eyestem’s human lung epithelial cell culture system which will help in understanding the pathological and molecular characteristics of COVID-19.

May 6, 2020 18:39 IST
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Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad has collaborated with Eyestem Research Private Limited, a Bengaluru based company for an attempt to grow novel coronavirus in human cells that will enable vitro testing of potential vaccines or drugs for the virus.

As per the CCMB scientists, the team will use Eyestem’s human lung epithelial cell culture system which will help in understanding the pathological and molecular characteristics of COVID-19.

CCMB is a laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) which is known for its research work on cellular and molecular biology.

What can be expected from the study?

The test which will be performed in vitro means that it will be done outside the living organism which will involve isolated tissues, cells, or organs.

As per Dr. Rakesh Mishra, the Director of CCMB, to culture the virus in vitro (in the glass) outside the human host can prove to be quite challenging. He further stated that Eyestem’s cell culture system expresses the ACE2 receptor and other forms of genes that have been key determinants of replication and viral entry.

It has been hoped that employing this system will allow the CCMB team which is led by Dr. Krishnana Harshan in growing the virus predictably and also open up the potential of vaccine development and drug screening.

CEO of Eyestem, Dr. Jogin Desai stated that he hopes that CCMB will be able to use this platform in advancing the research of COVID-19. He further mentioned that the ACS platform has been developed by Dr. Rajarshi Pal and his team. The platform is a testament of Eyestem’s depth and expertise in disease modeling and cell therapy.

Findings can be beneficial:

The findings from the study can be extremely beneficial at a time when scientists all over the world are trying to develop a vaccine to combat COVID-19.

Some of the organisations have already started with human testing and have moved from animal or lab testing. Drug makers all over the world have also been working round the clock so that the vaccine can be developed in the minimum of time against the widespread virus.

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