How our scientists are helping to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. Facing this global healthcare crisis, scientific research and innovation have never been more important. As a research institute with more than 25 years of experience in life sciences, VIB is fully committed to help slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus and mitigating its effects. To this end, VIB scientists are working tirelessly, together with partners at home and abroad, to leverage our experience, expertise, and infrastructure in the fight against COVID-19.

Towards Covid-19 drugs

The VIB teams of Xavier Saelens and Nico Callewaert are developing promising drug candidates to treat COVID-19. These efforts have already led to the development of a new start-up company, ExeVir Bio, which will develop these drugs into the clinic.

In this movie, Xavier Saelens and colleagues explain how they immediately made the connection between the COVID-19 outbreak and the llama-derived antibody stored in their freezer.

Covid-19 clinical trials

Many of VIB’s research groups have been actively working towards designing and performing studies to gain insight into the immune response to COVID-19 and how this could be improved, specifically in the most severely affected patients. Bart Lambrecht has taken the lead in several clinical trials across Belgium. Some trials repurpose existing drugs to treat COVID-19 patients.

Covid-19 testing

VIB has leveraged its experience as leading life sciences institute to contribute to upscaling the COVID-19 testing capacity.