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Therapeutic cell bank of virus-specific immune cells targeting COVID-19

The University of Sydney

Date Funded:
  • 1 February, 2021
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Associate Professor Emily Blyth

Project summary

We will create a cell bank of coronavirus specific immune cells that will be available for clinical trial use if the rate of community transmission rises in the future.

What is the issue for NSW?

There is no known treatment available that will prevent patients at high risk from progressing to severe COVID-19 once they have become infected.

A treatment that can prevent patients who have contracted the virus getting severely unwell will benefit the whole community by reducing the burden of severe viral infection on patients, families and the health system.

What does the research aim to do and how?

This research will build capacity to commence a clinical trial of infusion of COVID-19 specific immune cells to high risk COVID infected patients if the need arises in the future.

Immune cells that are responsible for controlling the virus will be collected and purified from healthy blood donors who have had COVID-19 and recovered. Cells will be cryopreserved for future use in a cell bank at Westmead Institute for Medical Research.