Dr. Marcin Nowotny, Head of the Laboratory of Protein Structure, was awarded the Exscalate4CoV grant from the Horizon 2020 to counter the Coronavirus pandemic. Together with 18 partners from top European institutions, he will take part in the search of an effective therapy against the virus.
The EXSCALATE4CoV (E4C) project aims to exploit the most powerful computing resources currently based in Europe to empower smart in-silico drug design. At the core of the project is Exscalate (EXaSCalesmArtpLatform Against paThogEns), at present the most powerful (and cost-efficient) intelligent supercomputing platform in the world, developed by Dompé. Exscalate (exscalate.eu) leverages a "chemical library" of 500 billion molecules, thanks to a processing capacity of more than 3 million molecules per second.
The IIMCB role is to speed up the experimental part of the project and to determine the crystal structure of coronavirus functional proteins to evaluate the structural similarities with other viral proteins. Structural studies constitute a key stage of the rational drug development process.
The EXSCALATE4CoV project can be implemented thanks to the funding the European Commission stepped up in an emergency call dedicated specially to research on COVID-19 vaccine development, treatment and diagnostics. The call was announced only in January 2020 and the project will start no later than on the 1st of April.
Project title: EXaSCalesmArtpLatform Against paThogEns for Corona Virus
Project Acronym: EXSCALATE4CoV
Project Coordinator: Andrea Beccari, Dompe
IIMCB Project Leader: Marcin Nowotny, Laboratory of Protein Structure
Grant Amount: ~3 m €
Project duration: 18 months
Consortium: 18 Partners
The E4C consortium:
- DompéFarmaceutici SPA
- Politecnico di Milano (Dept. of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering),
- ConsorzioInteruniversitario CINECA (Supercomputing Innovation and Applications),
- UniversitàdegliStudi di Milano (Pharmaceutical science Department),
- KatholiekeUniversiteit Leuven,
- International Institute Of Molecular And Cell Biology In Warsaw (IIMCB),
- Electra Italian Crystallographic Association,
- Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology,
- Barcelona Supercomputing Centre,
- UniversitàdegliStudi di Napoli Federico II,
- UniversitàdegliStudi di Cagliari,
- SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics,
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Department of Applied Physics),
- IstitutoNazionale di FisicaNucleare (INFN),
- Istitutonazionale per le malattie infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani,
- Chelonia Applied Science.