CHENNAI: A research scientist recently developed a neonatal transgenic-mice model BSL 2 and BSL 3 that have the potential to identify therapeutics for emerging variants of COVID-19 infection. They have used the pseudo pathogen method after several rounds of testing.
Dr M Mohanraj, senior research scientist, Pharmaceutical Quality Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research, Federal Drug Administration, USA said, “It’s a pre-clinical model done on mice. We’ve already tested on all COVID-19 variants including Omicron and its sub-lineage. If any new variant emerges, we should create a new virus, but the model is the same.”
The scientist has used pseudo pathogen virus which is less deadly. “Pseudo pathogen suggests that the spike protein plays a key role in determining the virulence of the variant and leads to productive infection of the lungs and brains. And the modelling SARS-CoV-2 infection under BSL-2 and BSL-3 are highly contained lab conditions to evaluate anti-spike therapeutics,” explained Dr Mohanraj.
He pointed out that the virus could be used to evaluate existing or experimental therapeutics targeting spike protein of current or future variants.
“The next step will be tested on the clinically modelled animals. And if it is successful, it will be taken up on the human model,” he added.