Co-Founder, President, & CEO, Cyclica
Efforts across the globe are focused on detecting, treating, and finding cures for the novel coronavirus. Given the urgency for treatment, developing drugs from scratch is too time-consuming to have a near-term impact, and the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 is likely to take up to 18 months.
In response, in late January 2020, Toronto-based biotechnology company Cyclica created a COVID Task Force. Within a few days, their AI-augmented drug discovery platform identified potential opportunities to treat COVID-19 with existing drugs through a process referred to as repurposing. They quickly partnered with CIMM, a leading research institution in China, to test activity of those drugs against the virus, and have sent compounds for testing to a number of other research institutions globally, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Now, by completing a short application, researchers and biotech companies who are working to find potential therapies for COVID-19 are invited to access Cyclica’s drug discovery platform at no upfront cost through their newly-created stimulus plan. Driven by an appreciation of the economic effects of this global pandemic and a strong desire to help scientists who have been negatively affected, Cyclica also invites any lab or company who needs additional support to advance their programs to participate in the stimulus plan, whether they are COVID-related or not.
“A rapid response to COVID-19 requires an avant-garde strategy. It’s our moral obligation to offer the support of our platforms to researchers, small biotechs, and companies that find themselves adversely impacted during this time of uncertainty. The discovery of medicines must go on,” says Naheed Kurji, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Cyclica.