15 June 2020

"The sustained and long-term control of COVID-19 will require new anti-infectives. In launching our registry for preclinical drug development, the Academy seeks to foster transparency, collaboration and policy development in this vital area of research. We hope that this resource will be of broad importance, and we encourage scientists from industry and academy to freely contribute relevant work."

- Professor Michael Malim FRS FMedSci, Chair of the Project 

The Academy of Medical Sciences recently launched their database for early stage UK COVID-19 research (https://acmedsci.ac.uk/more/news/new-covid-19-database-for-preclinical-therapies). The Academy aims to provide a map of the preclinical COVID-19 landscape to increase collaboration, to enhance the UK’s research effort, and to maximise the impact of preclinical research being carried out. 

COVID-19 affects everyone globally, with over 7 million infections to date worldwide and over 400,000 deaths, and the scientific community is investing many man hours working to understand the virus and its interaction with the body. Therefore, to ensure that the research effort is collaborative and efficient, the Academy are calling for UK researchers from both academia and industry to contribute to this open, public database of early research projects (https://acmedsci.ac.uk/policy/policy-projects/covid-19-preclinical-drug-discovery-and-development). The database can be accessed and contributed to online and UK researchers are encouraged to review and complete.

The Academy is interested in collating information on two main types of research:

  • Preclinical drug discovery and development for COVID-19, covering all modalities, mechanisms of action and therapeutic targets.
  • Supporting technologies that will inform and support drug development, including the development of assays, cell models, animal models and specialist reagents.

The aim of the collection is to:

  • Ensure that ambitious and creative drug development research forms part of the UK national response to COVID-19.
  • Map ongoing and emerging COVID-19 preclinical drug discovery and development research and make this map freely available to researchers and funders.
  • Highlight the immediate and longer-term research priorities for COVID 19 preclinical drug development, encompassing research questions, infrastructure, and resources.

The Academy are asking UK researchers to add their projects to this database by completing a survey. The survey will remain open throughout the need for COVID-19 research.