Proteon Pharmaceuticals Joins Research Efforts to Fight Coronavirus

In response to the fight against coronavirus, Proteon Pharmaceuticals has joined the effort to create a new SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Detection Center in Lodz, Poland to conduct large-scale tests for virus diagnosis. The new laboratory was created at a very fast pace with the involvement and cooperation of the Institute of Medical Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the University of Lodz, the Medical University of Lodz.  It is staffed by a team of microbiologists, geneticists, doctors and experts, including scientists from biotechnology company Proteon Pharmaceuticals. The goal is to conduct as many tests as possible in the shortest possible time. 

“Quick and mass diagnostics is currently the most important tool for stopping the growth of coronavirus infections. If it is possible to detect a virus infection faster and on a larger scale, the infected people will be isolated sooner and receive appropriate treatment. This will translate into a decline in infection dynamics,” says Prof. Jarosław Dastych, CEO of Proteon Pharmaceuticals S.A. “That is why we have made an immediate decision to involve our knowledge and experience in this project.” 

The laboratory, which was established in just a week, started work on March 23. It’s being led by prof. Maciej Borowiec from the Medical University of Lodz. The research team is made up of outstanding scientists from the Institute of Medical Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection at the University of Lodz, the Medical University and Proteon Pharmaceuticals S.A. Work in the laboratory at the Medical University will be ongoing 24/7.  

A group of microbiologists, virologists and geneticists from Proteon, all volunteers with experience working on a daily basis using molecular methods with infectious materials, will directly participate in the work of the research team. The company also provided the laboratory with necessary equipment including a laminar chamber that allows work in a sterile space, laptops, cell phones (operating in the Biohazard-3 class laboratory), laboratory materials and personal protective equipment. Proteon Pharmaceuticals’ specialists also carried out installation works providing additional security for laboratory employees.

Proteon Pharmaceuticals actively supports the fight against coronavirus on the largest possible substantive and organizational scale.

“In order to launch the laboratory, we engaged a large group of experts from the Medical University, but also from the University of Lodz, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the private sector,” says Dr. Monika Domarecka, Director of the Central Clinical Hospital. “We have gathered the necessary equipment and a team of people with specialist education, skills and, above all, willingness to work in a difficult situation.”

Radzisław Kordek, Rector of the Medical University in Łódź, stated,”The laboratory was established at a very fast pace, because the situation required it from us. These events require real action and organizational efficiency. During the week we completed all formalities and we are ready now. Thank you to everyone who contributed. We have many weeks of hard work ahead of us. We do not exclude the creation of other such laboratories as part of university hospitals.”

Dr. Ewelina Wójcik, head of the research team at Proteon Pharmaceuticals, and one of the volunteers at the Coronavirus Detection Center, added: “We are convinced that our knowledge and experience in virus research can effectively support the fight against the epidemic in Poland.” 

The newly established Coronavirus Detection Center supports existing laboratories in Łódź by collecting samples from infectious hospitals in Łódź and Zgierz. This means that it does not accept samples directly from patients. People who suspect they have a disease are asked to follow the procedures, i.e. stay at home and contact relevant authorities as soon as possible.

About Proteon Pharmaceuticals

Proteon Pharmaceuticals is an innovative Polish biotechnology company and a leader in the field of precise microbiome modulation to improve human and animal health. Proteon has created an advanced bacteriophage technology platform that uses molecular biology, genomics, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence (AI) to create precise and safe bacteriophage-based antibacterial solutions. Bacteriophages (phages for short) are the smallest, most numerous and oldest organisms on the planet. They can be used to fight pathogenic bacteria improving animal and human health. They occur naturally in nature, are present everywhere: on our hands and skin as well as in the intestines of people and animals, and in soil and water. Phages naturally protect animals and humans from bacteria.

Proteon Pharmaceuticals was the first company to develop poultry feed additives to combat Salmonella bacteria. The company also offers feed additives containing bacteriophages for aquaculture and is working on a solution for mastitis in dairy cows. Bacteriophage therapy is considered to be one of the most serious opportunities to overcome the globally growing threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Media Contact:
Magdalena Szymańska
Proteon Pharmaceuticals S.A.

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