Battelle Part of Team Selected to Support New Technologies to Prepare for Future COVID-19 Outbreaks
BARDA awarded more than $241 million to several companies to support new technologies focused on improving national preparedness for future COVID-19 outbreaks and patient access (Project NextGen Selects Initial Vaccine Candidates and Awards Over $500 Million to Advance Development of Vaccines and Therapeutics | HHS.gov). These technologies have the potential to enable shorter development timelines for monoclonal antibodies through mRNA, increased efficiency in virus testing, and alternate routes for vaccine administration.
Battelle researchers will develop a human lung microphysiological system (MPS) platform to enable in vitro modeling of SARS-CoV-2 infection and testing of therapeutics. While SARS-CoV-2 will be the initial focus, influenza modeling and therapeutic evaluation will also be performed.
The human lung MPS model will include multiple cell types, including circulating immune cells. This complex in vitro model is expected to recapitulate relevant human lung biology, including viral pathogenesis and response to medical countermeasures. The model will be applied to characterize emerging threats and could accelerate the development and evaluation of medical countermeasures, including vaccines, antibodies, small molecules, and antivirals, using an innovative approach that does not rely on traditional models.
The MPS model is expected to be established and ready for therapeutic screening in the Fall of 2025.
“I am proud that Battelle will play such a critical role in supporting the development of a new generation of capabilities to stay ahead of COVID-19,” said Greg Kimmel, General Manager of Battelle’s Health business unit. “This is a significant win for us and a reflection of our strategic investment into and focus on the development of 'organ on a chip' technologies that have the potential to have tremendous impact.”
This project has been supported in whole or in part with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR); Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), under contract 75A50122D00017.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit https://www.battelle.org.
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