COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel SARS corona virus, has been a global threat for months now. The pandemic has crippled global healthcare sectors and economies. Early, rapid, and accurate detection of the contagion is critical for isolating infected patients to prevent further community spread. Currently, most communities in Canada suffer from insufficient testing capabilities, and as the need for testing increases, the added volume will produce a proportional amount of unreliable results.
Cell-based treatments for chronic metabolic disorders such as diabetes are poised to disrupt conventional treatments based on insulin administration through needles. These treatments involve transplanting cells that can provide the needed hormone or enzyme directly into the patients' circulation, in principle for years and without human intervention.
However, these transplanted cells need to be protected from immune recognition by the patients' immune system.
This project will develop thin polymer strips that dissolve rapidly in the mouth and can deliver a therapeutic payload. Specifically, the proposed strips will be loaded with vaccine particles that can be delivered directly to the bloodstream via the sub-lingual mucous membranes. It has been previously shown that sub-lingual vaccination is effective for a number of infections. We believe that, even after a vaccine for the current pandemic is found, administration of the vaccine using traditional methods will take a very long time.
This Mitacs-NSERC COVID-19 joint initiative is to investigate the mechanism of COVID-19 inducing hyperinflammation and cytokine storm. COVID-19 infected cells cause injury that triggers immune cells to release inflammatory cytokines. The partnership with Encyt Technologies Inc. and PI will use established immune macrophage cell lines to identify the molecular mechanism of hyperinflammation induced by COVID-19 ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas GPCR platform in triggering the processes associated with this cytokine storm.
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel, highly infections virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to its rapid spread and high mortality rate, intense research efforts are focused on developing screening tests, antiviral therapies and vaccines. Further research is needed to understand how this virus interacts with host cells to infect them, replicate and release new virus to spread the disease. This project will study the interaction between the viral protein called Spike and a cellular protein called Ezrin.
The rapid spread of COVID-19, associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is of tremendous global concern. There is an urgent need to expand the current diagnosis capacity and to develop effective home-usable tests, and simple ones that can be used at the primary point-of-care. Ideally, the test will be simple enough that it could be performed by untrained personnel, yet also optimized to eliminate potential misuse and inaccurate measurements.
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, which started in Dec. 2019, has so far not been contained due to unpreparedness and unsuccessful development of antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2. In response to this pandemic, we propose strategies for the development of novel antiviral agents against a number of known viral targets using in-silico modeling and laboratory testing to rapidly identify and validate their efficiency in blocking viral functions.
Dose has developed a new probiotic that targets several aspects of oral and respiratory health. This project aims to understand the exact mechanism of our probiotic's inhibitory properties against the pathogens associated with the above diseases. Dose is a new start-up in the probiotic/microbiome health sector, and this project will allow for improved technology and manufacturing processes for our probiotic line.
Patients most vulnerable to COVID-19 have pre-existing illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. Two potential treatments in clinical trials for COVID-19 are the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, and the antibiotic, azithromycin. These drugs can cause side-effects, including cardiac arrhythmias which can lead to heart failure, that make them inappropriate for the most vulnerable COVID-19 patients. Cardiac arrhythmias also are a major cause of death in diabetic patients.
Osteoarthritis is a major cause of disability in dogs. Today, the therapeutic role of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) as a potential treatment for immune and inflammatory disorders is well-defined. We are interested in exploring the immune-modulatory property of canine MSCs with the aim of exploiting it as a potential therapy in dogs with Elbow Dysplasia. This foundational work will support future funding applications to conduct a randomized clinical trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment.