Votre navigateur ne supporte pas le javascript Wallonia & Brussels against COVID-19 - Targets


Didier Serteyn, Professor - Justine Ceusters, CSO RevaTis - Charlotte Sandersen, Professor

ULiège and RevaTis SA (Spin Off)
" The project aims to assess the effects of muscle derived stem cells on a preclinical model of acute respiratory distress syndrome induced by a perfusion of endotoxins. We focused on the modulation of neutrophil excessive activation. RevaTis developped a GMP production of muscle derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and is authorized to produce clinical batches. The IPCLab (Liege University) developed an ARDS model in pigs. We aim to demonstrate a reduction of the ARDS severity, a reduction of the cytokines storm and a modulation of the excessive activation of neutrophils observed in ARDS. "
Funding: Research grants from Ulg (POC) and FNRS (CURE) are pending. RevaTis supplies muscle derived Stem Cells for R&D projects
Publication References: Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 6;7(1):696. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00803-7. From skeletal muscle to stem cells: an innovative and minimally-invasive process for multiple species. Ceusters J, Lejeune JP, Sandersen C, Niesten A...

Fabrice JOURNE, Doctor - Alexandre LEGRAND, Professor - Jean-Marie COLET, Professor

" Development of a Covid-19 serum library within the UMONS biobank. Collection and storage of samples (serum, blood or urine samples as well as nasopharyngeal samples) from patients diagnosed with Covid-19 positive or negative by an RT-PCR test. Collaboration between UMONS and Ambroise-Paré hospital (Mons) as well as Epicura hospital network (Baudour, Hornu). "
Funding: UMONS logistic and fiinancial supports
Contact: UMONS Biobank Prof. A. legrand, Manager Dr. F. Journe, Coordinator

François Dufrasne, Dr. - Benoit Kabamba-Mukadi, Pr.

" This study aims to assess the potential roles of spike glycoproteins and viral proteins encoded by ORF6, ORF7a, ORF8 and ORF10 in the antagonism of several known restriction factors (BST-2, GBP5, IFITM, ...) and in the modulation of innate immune responses (NF-kB pathway and IFN response). These proteins will be expressed in different cell models and we will define their ability to bind and/or degrade restriction factors. Depending on results, we will perform sequencing (NGS) of these genes from clinical isolates in order to observe whether the genetic variability can be linked to the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 viruses. "
Funding: Own funds
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

François Fuks, Full Professor

Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics, ULB, Faculty of Medicine - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" In recent years epigenetics has become an essential component of biological research, playing key roles in many physiopathological conditions. Recent work in viral epigenetics highlighted these modifications as an essential mechanism in modulating many viruses life cycles. To date, whether this holds true also for SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown, let alone the potential use of epigenetics inhibitors as novel antiviral therapy against SARS-CoV-2. • To address these unanswered questions and to respond to the current international urge of new therapeutic approaches against COVID-19, our study, which would uncover a link between epigenetics and SARS-CoV-2, aim to provide innovative advances for SARS-CoV-2 biology and therapy: • Overall, we will generate a comprehensive dataset aiming at expanding further our understanding of the biological functions of epigenetic modifications in the SARS-CoV-2...

Jean-Claude Twizere, FNRS Senior Research Associate

ULiège - FNRS
" Our solution for SARS-CoV-2 induced disease is to develop small molecules able to disrupt interactions between CoV-2 proteins and human interacting proteins. We anticipate that these molecules will substantially affect CoV-2 virulence and associated lung inflammation. "
Funding: none
Contact: Dr.Jean-Claude TWIZERE University of Liege GIGA -Molecular Biology of Diseases Viral Interactomes Lab 1 Avenue de l'Hopital B-4000 Liege Belgium
Comment: We are looking for funding as well as potential collaborations in an "OPENSCREEN" strategy.

Jurga Marcin, PhD

EXO Biologics
" EXO Biologics plans to extend its research and development program towards the COVID-19 crisis by using its unique and disruptive technology based on Extracellular Vesicles. These nanometer size particles are gaining momentum in the scientific community as potential alternatives to stem cell and biologic drugs therapies in the fields of immunology, neurology, oncology, cardiology, gastroenterology among others. EXO Biologics has 12 years of experience in cell-based regenerative medicine and 8 years of experience in Extracellular Vesicles. Our advancements in research will play an important role for our company mission to provide affordable and accessible therapies to patients with unmet medical needs. "
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pierre CLOSE, FNRS Research Associate - Francesca RAPINO, Doctor

GIGA-Institute, ULiège - FNRS
" In this project, we study the epitranscriptomic regulation of the SARS-CoV-2. Based on analyses of the viral genome, we investigate the cellular machineries required for the viral replicative cycle. Our goal is to identify possible viral vulnerabilities that can be exploited for the development of innovative anti-viral therapeutic strategies. We investigate possible new therapeutic opportunities based on the analyses of the viral genomic organization and evolution. We speculate that specific cellular machineries are needed to support the viral replicative cycle. Our goal is uncover new antiviral therapeutic strategies based on the viral epitranscriptomic regulation, mRNA translation and protein expression. "
Publication References: Rapino F, Delaunay S, Rambow F, Zhou Z, Tharun L, De Tullio P, Sin O, Shostak, Schmitz S, Piepers J, Ghesquière B, Karim L, Charloteaux B, Jamart D, Florin A, Lambert C, Rorive A, Jerusalem G...

Serge Goldman, Scientific Director

" The Center of Microscopy and Molecular Imaging (CMMI) is currently involved in establishing an accurate SARS-CoV-2 virus distribution topography in the organs and various cells of patients who died in COVID-19 units by providing immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy services (study director Pr. Isabelle Salmon). We have also developed and are currently offering preclinical multimodal quantitative imaging - of lung inflammation - of bacterial population (pathogen or no pathogen) - and of viral infection by isotopic imaging. All these models enable the understanding of pulmonary pathological features caused by SARS-viruses such as CoVID-19. From molecular to humanized animal models, the CMMI provides customized imaging solutions to research projects on Coronavirus The CMMI is also a proud partner of the ULB diagnostic platform set-up in Gosselies to face the epidemic of SARS-CoV2. "
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Comment: The CMMI was co-founded by ULB et UMons and is supported...

Stefan Constantinescu, Professor

UCLouvain - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium

Determination of Germ-Line Variations and Pathological Gene Expression that May Contribute to Immunopathology in COVID-19." The SARS-CoV-2 infection (1, 2), can be followed by a severe evolution with severe respiratory distress. We hypothesize that germline variants in genes involved in innate immunity, especially type I interferon induction and actions, predispose to delayed pathological response/cytokine storm. Our aims are to identify: i) such germ-line variants and ii) peripheral leukocyte gene expression that can predict unfavorable SARS-CoV2 infections. A group of SARS-CoV2 patients with unfavorable evolution, young and without co-morbidities (25) will be compared with an aged matched group of 25 SARS-CoV2 individuals with absence or a minimum of symptoms. Germ line DNA obtained from peripheral blood (PB) will be whole exome sequenced (WES) and analyzed with bioinformatics tools that are used for rare disease germline...

Stéphane CARLIER, Prof - Jean-Marie COLET, Prof - Fabrice JOURNE, Dr - Sven SAUSSEZ, Prof- Vincent RICHARD, Dr - Camélia ROSSI, Dr

UMONS and Ambroise-Paré Hospital Mons
" Predictive plasma signature of the clinical behavior of COVID-19 patients. The clinical presentation of COVID-19 infection varies from mild to asymptomatic to pneumonia, which can be complicated by severe respiratory failure and/or cardiovascular, renal, hepatic and cutaneous involvement. The understanding of such a polymorphism is very incomplete and the prognosis is difficult. Several tracks involving inflammatory reactions are currently favored to better explain this disease. In particular, the significant increase in plasma cytokines IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A and TNFα, known as "cytokine storm", seems to be significantly associated with the ARDS and multi-organ onsets. In this context, IL6 seems to play an important role and targeted treatments against this cytokine seem promising. Also, the infection of endothelial cells by the coronavirus causing endothelium inflammation have been suggested as one of the fundamental...

Thomas Michiels, Professor

" On the one hand, we are developing a safe, middle throughput seroneutralization assay to correlate standard serology to seroneutralization and to enable vaccine response analysis. On the other hand, we develop a basic research project on the identification of a promising drug target site in the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of positive-stranded RNA viruses, conserved in SARS-CoV-2. During researches performed in the framework of an EOS program, we seredendipitously discovered a conserved region of viral RNA-dependent RNA-polymerases that has properties to be targetable by drugs. This site appears to be conserved in several viruses including SARS-CoV-2 and other important human pathogens. In collaboration with a swiss group working on coronaviruses and other partners, we plan to examine the impact of this polymerase target site on the replication of several viruses, its drugability and the reason for its conservation during evolution. "
Funding: - contribution to a small...

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Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19