CVR CRUSH is designed to support a variety of activity including, but not limited to, the following:

CVR CRUSH is specifically well-placed to undertake a detailed phenotypic assessment of these reverse genetics-derived viruses along with their circulating counterparts, both in in vitro and in vivo settings.

The CVR has developed reverse genetics systems to generate infectious SARS-CoV-2 viruses carrying specific mutations of interest (e.g. of variants of concern) with a view to perform various phenotypic analyses.

  • Screening the antiviral activity of drugs and therapeutics (e.g. monoclonal antibodies) against SARS-CoV-2, or other viral pathogens
  • Validation screens in different cell systems including primary lung and nasal cultures
  • Drug combination screens
  • Identifying and characterising the emergence of potential drug-resistant viral mutations following treatment with antiviral drugs
  • Mechanistic studies on drugs of interest
  • Monitoring the global incidence of SARS-CoV-2 strains with potential drug-resistant mutations
  • Various serological assays including virus neutralisation assays
  • Assays performed on SARS-CoV-2 and other viral pathogens
  • Assays determining whether buffers/procedures/devices inactivate SARS-CoV-2
  • Test and validation of diagnostic assays


Workstreams under development

  • Enhancement for drug screen capabilities using state-of-the-art high-throughput robotic systems
  • Pre-clinical evaluation of drugs and therapeutics in small animal models

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Professor Massimo Palmarini (CVR Director) “Whilst CRUSH activities will initially focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, the CVR and the CRUSH facility are well positioned to rapidly respond to future viral outbreaks, delivering innovation to address public health crises caused by high consequence viruses. We look forward to working with academic and industry partners to develop CRUSH as a national facility.”

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