The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County will receive $803,306 in grant funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development Office of Technology and Innovation.
The grant, which comes through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments and Therapies program, will help the Doylestown center advance the COVID-19 related work being conducted there.
The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, which manages the center, was awarded $165,406 to continue work on a new compound that binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevents viral entry, and promote it to human clinical trials. This could be the first small molecule drug for treatment of COVID-19.
The Blumberg Institute was also awarded $207,900 to conduct a study to determine if a small molecule, iminosugar, alone or in combination with Remdesivir or Favipiravir, is useful against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
“The PA Biotech Center is an important part of our region’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, ushering in some of the first diagnostic tests in Bucks County through on-site companies, as well as hosting a number of other entrepreneurs who are developing new drugs to manage this disease,” said state Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D- Bucks. “This investment not only spurs economic growth to the area’s biotech sector, but will likely help save lives here and across the world.”
PA Biotech was also awarded $430,000 to convert warehouse space in its complex to research and training space that will accelerate the pace of development of projects dealing with COVID-19 and related work. The 6,000-square-foot space will be used by several biotechnology companies, research projects, and trainees who will work on new therapeutics and diagnostics.