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Covid-19 efforts in the region: September/October update

Collaboration between universities, industry, and health care focusing on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease Covid-19 continues. Here, a few examples from the region.

Academic research, and collaborations on Covid-19:

Vinnova invests in innovation in the fight against covid-19 and future pandemics
Vinnova invest 32 million in innovation that will help curb the spread and effects of covid-19 and prevent future pandemics. The projects include better breathing masks, testing of how existing drugs work against the disease and new methods to counteract the widespread spread in vulnerable groups. Read more >>

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has granted a further SEK 50 million for research related to Covid-19 at SciLifeLab
In spring this year the Foundation allocated SEK 50 million for a national Covid-19 research program at SciLifeLab. The program resulted in 67 research projects focusing on fighting the corona pandemic using the infrastructure existing at SciLifeLab. Read more >>

Wastewater shows large increase in covid-19 in Stockholm (October 5)
The amount of coronavirus found in wastewater has doubled in recent weeks and is now back at the same levels as in May 2020. New research findings confirm that water analyses can warn of future virus outbreaks in society. KTH researchers are now presenting a compilation of the amount of virus in wastewater in the Stockholm area, based on samples that have been collected every week since last spring. At the turn of the month April / May this year, the researchers found the highest level of virus in the wastewater. Read more >>

New project verifies serology tests
During the summer, a new strategic project was launched with the aim of verifying commercial serology tests of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Researcher Anna Fogdell-Hahn and her team at Karolinska Institutet are behind it. Read more >>

Biobank Sweden receives a grant of ten million to coordinate the handling of samples linked to Covid-19
The Swedish Research Council considers that it is important that Covid-19 samples, blood samples and other biological samples linked to Covid-19, can be used as well as possible for research. Therefore, these need to be collected and stored properly. Correct information also needs to be available. Biobank Sweden now receives SEK 10 million from the Swedish Research Council to coordinate the samples collected in healthcare. Read more >>

Alpaca nano-antibody blocked coronavirus
A fragment of an alpaca antibody appears to be able to block the new corona virus from entering cells. In February, when it was at an early stage of the pandemic, researchers from Karolinska Institutet injected an alpaca with the surface protein that sars-cov-2 uses to infect human cells. Two months later, they took blood samples that showed that the alpaca had a strong immune response to the virus. The researchers are now publishing a study in which they have identified a fragment from an antibody that they obtained by cloning and then analyzing immune cells from the alpaca. The fragment, or nano-antibody, they have named Ty1, after the alpaca named Tyson. Ty1 neutralizes the coronavirus by attaching to the part of the surface protein that binds to the ACE2 receptor, the same receptor that the virus uses to enter a human cell. In this way, the virus is blocked from entering cells. Read more >>

Valneva and Karolinska Institutet in focus as Stockholm coronavirus vaccine hunt intensifies
Never before has the world seen the search for a vaccine proceed so quickly. Here, Invest Stockholm examine two Covid-19 projects in the Stockholm region that have already reached advanced stages. Read more >>


- Anna Frejd, Stockholm Science City