LAQV was awarded for two research projects in the scope of the “Research 4 COVID-19 – 2nd edition” funding call, launched by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). Applying sustainable chemistry to different research fields, LAQV is working in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infections.
Salette Reis, research group coordinator at LAQV and Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto, is the leader of the research project “nano2Prevent – Nanoparticles to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission”. Nano2Prevent aims to produce nanoparticles-based products to inactivate and detect SARS-CoV-2 in personal protective equipment and bed linens. Hence, this research project will hinder SARS-CoV-2 transmission within hospitals and nursing-houses, enabling through nanotechnology the elimination of the virus while identifying contamination outbreaks. The team is composed of several researchers from LAQV, namely Catarina Seabra, Sofia Costa Lima, Cláudia Nunes, Joana Magalhães, Marina Pinheiro, and Tânia Moniz. Furthermore, nano2Prevent also includes a sustained network that enables expected results within 6 months, with the participation of Helena Felgueiras from the Centre for Textile Science and Technology from the University of Minho (2C2T) and Carla Silva from the Technological Centre for the Textile and Clothing Industry of Portugal (CITEVE). In the end, nano2Prevent will reinforce the National Health System by proposing nanosolutions to protect the healthcare workers and patients from cross-contaminations.
The project “Repurposed antimalarial and anti-Ebola drugs as Organic Salts and Ionic Liquids to prevent and fight COVID-19” focuses on developing novel ionic formulations of drugs with known activity against SARS-CoV-2, decreasing their toxicity and enhancing their bioavailability and efficacy. The approach will consist on the preparation of novel organic salts and Ionic Liquids based on drugs, such as Chloroquine and Remdesivir, taking advantage of their chemical properties. The synthesis and physicochemical characterization of these new salts will be conducted at the CHARM – Cultural Heritage and Responsive Materials Group – laboratory of FCT-NOVA, by the researchers Miguel M. Santos (Project Leader), Luís C. Branco, and Željko Petrovski. The in vitro toxicity and antiviral activity studies will be performed by Helena Rebelo-de-Andrade and Vanessa Correia of the Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge and iMed.ULisboa - FFUL. Future studies, including clinical trials, will be outlined together with INFARMED for the most promising formulation, aiming at a fast development of a safe and effective tool for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
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