COVID-19 Drug-Screening and Resistance Hub


CVR CRUSH is designed to support the following activities:

  • Screening the antiviral activity of drugs and therapeutics (e.g. monoclonal antibodies) against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
  • Identifying and characterising the emergence of potential drug-resistant viral mutations following treatment with antiviral drugs
  • Monitoring the global incidence of SARS-CoV-2 strains with potential drug-resistant mutations and making this information openly available.  

Global control of the COVID-19 pandemic is dependent on the availability of effective therapeutics and vaccines.

The initial assessment of new anti-viral drugs and therapeutics involves testing the ability of these compounds to block growth of infectious SARS-CoV-2 in human cells.

The CVR is ideally placed to undertake these studies given the state-of-the-art high containment facilities.

At the CVR we have generated the necessary molecular reagents including virus isolates and established drug-screening assays in human lung cell lines and primary cultures. 

We are also well placed to identify and characterise potential drug-resistance variants, using drug screening pipelines and technological platforms, including real-time genomic sequencing, imaging and cryo-electron microscopy.

Data on the emergence and global incidence of potential drug-resistant strains will be made available through CoV-GLUE, an open-access analytical software package.

The CVR is also developing a small rodent model for SARS-CoV-2 that could be used in pre-clinical assays.

We look forward to working in partnership with academic and industry partners to develop CVR CRUSH as a national facility. For any queries please contact


Projects in progress

With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the CVR has initiated a project to screen known compounds for their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in a human cell background.

This project is in partnership with the University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit.