Generating a COVID-19 vaccine using ministring DNA and virus-like particles

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis on an unprecedented scale, with over 1 million confirmed cases, spread over 200 countries. With the world at a virtual standstill, and no existing treatments, there is an enormous need for novel therapeutics and vaccines to combat COVID-19. Our group is working on a DNA vaccine strategy that exploits our proprietary miniaturized DNA vector technology, called ministring DNA (msDNA), to encode and deliver specially engineered copies of COVID-19 viral proteins.

Development of a Product to Prevent Binding of SARS-COV-2 within the Respiratory Airway and Cardiovascular System

The SARS beta coronaviruses, SARS-CoV, which caused the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003 and the new SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, bind to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors in the lower respiratory tracts of infected patients to gain entry into the lungs. Viral pneumonia and potentially fatal respiratory failure may result in susceptible persons after 10-14 days. Our proposed product will bind to SARS-COV-2 and reduce the opportunity for it to enter the body.

Develop a web based geospatial artificial intelligence framework to track, visualize, analyze, model, and predict infectious disease spread in real-time.

As location is an integral part of both population and individual health, there is an emerging role for geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) technology in health and healthcare. Novel infectious diseases such as COVID-19 are associated with population density, environmental factors, and interactions between humans and wildlife. GeoAI technology can be used to collect and analyze large amounts of spatial data, such as individual-level epidemiological data, social media, human mobility, transportation, mobile phone data, and vulnerable populations.

Hybrid bacteriophage platforms for the production of non-invasive, self-adjuvanted, and targeted DNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2

Our project aims to design and develop COVID19 vaccines engineered from viruses that infect bacterial cells only. SARS-CoV2 pathogenic components have been identified and modified to develop the vaccine. Although these components are pathogenic in nature, they are modified to pose no harm. The vaccine is designed to be administered intranasally, where it relocates to the lower respiratory tract. Upon reaching respiratory cells, the vaccine binds to respiratory cells and delivers the carried component. The delivered component will self-assemble into a SARS-CoV2 shape mimic.

Drug Safety and Effectiveness in Canadians During Viral Pandemics

The Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CSPT) is a national not-for-profit charitable organization. Our mission is to apply educational and research excellence to drug discovery and therapeutic choices. The project aim is to research and assess COVID-19 drug therapy clinical trial results as they are published.

Engineering Nanotechnology Formulations of Cannabinoids for Treatment of COVID-19-Induced Lung Inflammation

COVID-19 results in an increased expression of certain cytokines (i.e. chemicals produced by the body in response to an infection) that may result in inflammation, leading to organ and tissue damage. Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) have been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity. For example, CBD has been shown to reduce the expression of cytokines in animal models of lung inflammation. We hypothesize that the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD and CBG may offer some therapeutic benefit to patients with COVID-19.

Design and Evaluation of Microfluidics Based RT-LAMP Device

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of lives have been lost and society has dramatically changed. However, as these restrictions are eased, rapid and accurate testing is the only way to keep this virus under control. Serapis Labs is working on an at-home test for COVID-19 to screen for current infection. The goal is to provide an inexpensive test, can be shipped via mail, and gives results within an hour. This project focuses on developing nucleic acid testing techniques into a format that meets that goal.

Development of an assay for personalized synergistic blockade immunotherapy treatment of COVD-19 patients using CytoFind™

The current COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges to healthcare professionals as they deal with managing the primary disease and it many complications. The proposal aims to develop, test, and validate an assay to detect quickly immune checkpoint targets in T cells in peripheral blood with high specificity and sensitivity using a diagnostic device, CytoFind, that can capture rare circulating cells in whole blood samples.

Investigation into molecular mechanism of CRV431, a cyclophilin inhibitor, for anti-fibrotic and anti-oncogenic potential in various animal models

Various liver disorders such as fatty liver, liver fibrosis, liver failure and liver cancer, are major healthcare burden and associated with high rate of mortality. Once fatty liver or fibrosis progress to cirrhosis or liver failure, its treatment is challenging due to lack of an effective treatment. Currently available treatment for liver cancer is few anticancer drugs or surgical ablation with liver transplantation. However, available pharmacological interventions have not succeeded fully.

Improving Q-RT-PCR screening for COVID-19 by tracking viral variants

This project will extend on our labs initial findings that current q-RT-PCR based screening strategies for COVID-19 patients can fall within variant regions of the SARS-CoV2 viral sequence and may potentially lead to false negative results. This project, in collaboration with BioXplor will lead to the development of online bioinformatics tool that will allow tracking of viral mutations as they evolve as well as optimal primer design for testing assays that avoid hotspot mutations leading to more robust and accurate patients screening.