Responding to COVID-19

“This outbreak has illustrated that it’s all hands on deck, and all of us together against the bugs. We are working with our collaborators at UW, the NIH, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help create a safe and effective vaccine for not only SARS-CoV-2 but other coronaviruses as well.” – Neil King, head of vaccine design

SKYCovione manufacturing facility in South Korea. Image: SK bioscience

Potent Vaccines

A protein-based vaccine for COVID-19 that uses our self-assembling nanoparticle technology has been authorized in the United Kingdom by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and approved in South Korea by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for use in adults. The vaccine, known as SKYCovione (SKYCovion in the UK), has also been granted an Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organization (WHO).

SK bioscience is leading the vaccine’s clinical development abroad. The University of Washington is licensing the vaccine technology royalty-free for the duration of the pandemic.

SKYCovione is the world’s first medicine developed using computational protein design, an approach that uses software to engineer protein structures with enough precision to place individual atoms exactly where desired.

Elicitation of Potent Neutralizing Antibody Responses by Designed Protein Nanoparticle Vaccines for SARS-CoV-2  |  Cell

The Dream Vaccine  |  Science

Rapid Antivirals

In less than a month, IPD researchers designed over two million antiviral proteins targeting the novel coronavirus. Over 120,000 of the most promising candidates have been tested in the lab. Some neutralize coronavirus with activities rivaling the best-known antibodies. We are now working with partners to advance these candidate antivirals into clinical testing.

De novo design of picomolar SARS-CoV-2 miniprotein inhibitors  |  Science

Antibodies Good. Machine-Made Molecules Better?  |  New York Times

Innovative Diagnostics

Diagnostic tests are essential for detecting coronavirus infection and immunity. Our scientists have created new ways to detect SARS-CoV-2 in blood, as well as protective antibodies against the virus. These biosensors are currently being optimized for use without laboratory instruments or refrigeration.

De novo design of modular and tunable protein biosensors  |  Nature

Join Us

Our ability to meet the demands of the COVID-19 crisis is due in part to early supporters, leadership funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the recent, transformative investment from The Audacious Project. Visionary philanthropists can still help provide the resources needed to continue advancing our COVID-19 research.

If you would like to make a gift to support the Institute for Protein Design, please contact Katherine Cardinal, senior director for philanthropy, at 206.650.4503 or