CCMB joins hands with Eyestem for Covid-19 research

Hyderabad, May 4 (IANS) The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Eyestem Research Private Ltd, Bengaluru, on Monday announced a public private collaboration in the fight against Covid-19

Hyderabad-based CCMB will use Eyestem’s human lung epithelial cell culture system provided as part of its Anti-Covid screening (ACS) platform to understand the molecular and pathological characteristics of the Covid-19 virus with a view to establishing a rational basis for testing potential drugs in vitro.

“Culturing the virus outside the human host is a technological challenge that needs to be overcome. Eyestem’s cell culture system expresses the ACE2 receptor and other genes that are key determinants of viral entry and replication. We hope that employing this system will allow the CCMB team led by Dr. Krishnan Harshan to grow the virus predictably and thereby open up the potential for drug screening and vaccine development strategies,” ACCMB Director, Dr. Rakesh Mishra said.

Eyestem CEO, Dr. Jogin Desai, expressed the hope that the CCMB will be able to leverage their platform and advance Covid research that will help humanity in India and abroad.

“We are honoured to enter into this research collaboration with one of the premier scientific institutes in India. The ACS platform has been developed by Dr. Rajarshi Pal and his team and is a testament to our depth and expertise in cell therapy and disease modeling,” he said.

Eyestem Research is working to democratize access to cell therapy as well as disease modeling platforms, he added.

CCMB, a premier research organization in frontier areas of modern biology, is an autonomous laboratory under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It responded to the current crisis and was the first academic laboratory outside the ICMR to initiate Covid-19 testing and kit validation. In addition, CCMB has initiated a variety of research projects on SARS-CoV2.

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