COVID-19 virus has spread rapidly throughout the world bringing an epidemic-like situation. Given the lack of an efficacious vaccine and lack of availability of suitable chemotherapeutic interventions, the global population has been hit hard with utmost vulnerability to the current coronavirus outbreak. Thus, there is an urgent need to ramp up national R&D efforts for new antivirals, vaccines, and affordable diagnostics. With this background, SERB announces a special IRHPA Call(3‑year duration) specifically designed for COVID-19 and related respiratory viral infections.
Academic and research institutionsare encouraged to submit competitive proposals havinga strong interdisciplinary componentbetween chemists, biologists,virologists, immunologists, and clinicians, in the following areas. One of the participating institutions should have access toBSL‑3 and above facilities, along with expertise of handling respiratory virusesas per WHO/Govt. of India protocols.
•New orrepurposed antivirals against valid viral targets;viricidal coatings; etc.
•Affordable diagnostics for symptomatic and asymptomaticrespiratory viral infections
•Investigational vaccines against respiratory viruses
•Development of disease models for respiratory viral infections
•Studies on immune response and immunity during respiratory viral infections
•Epidemiology of COVID and other respiratory viral infections
It is desirable to bring technical partnerships and collaborative know-how from biotech and pharmaceutical companies. SERB is committed for strategic investments to accelerate antiviral research under aforementioned verticals.