Merck Funds IIT Bombay For Covid19 Research

Research focuses on the development of simple immunoassays using Single Molecule Counting technology for early disease severity marker identification

(L to R) Pankaj Kumar Joshi, Head of Commercial Marketing, Research Solutions for India, Merck, Mr Sunil Punjabi, Managing Director for Life Science India, Merck, Prof. Suhas Joshi, Dean

Merck, a science and technology company, today announced a donation of Rs 1.7crore (€ 194,000) over two years to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay to support the development of clinical tests for Covid-19 disease severity assessment. The funded project is an ongoing Covid-19 multi-omics research on the development of simple immunoassays based on Single Molecule Counting technology to identify low levels of early disease severity markers. 

The research aims to dissect the host response signatures during Covid-19 disease progression, identify clinically relevant biomarkers, apply mass spectrometry-based approaches, and translate the findings to allow the prognosis of Covid-19 patients.

The partnership will focus on five areas, including:  

  • Biomarker discovery of Covid-19 severity at an early phase of infection 
  • Immunoassays for the detection of biomarkers using Single Molecule Counting technology
  • AI-driven short-listing of Covid-19 biomarkers for prognosis using immunoassay panel
  • Immunoassay panel development for detection of biomarkers using Single Molecule Counting Technology 
  • Pathway enrichment-driven computational studies on drug repurposing for Covid-19 therapies

The research project is expected to commence Mass Spec based validation of Covid-19 biomarkers and the set-up of Single Molecule Counting technology and protocols optimization, which will be used as the foundation for future Covid-19 clinical tests and drug re-purposing studies as part of this donation project.

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