Phenotypic and functional analysis of SARS-Cov-2 specific T cells from recovered Covid-19 donors developed for use as a novel adoptive cell therapy

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service

Active award

Principal Investigator: Dr Alasdair Fraser

Year Award Started: 2020

The recent outbreak of Covid19 disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has shown that there is a huge need for treatments for patients who are severely affected by the virus. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) has wide experience with developing and manufacturing treatments for clinical use from donor blood, and unparalleled access to blood collected from donors who have recovered from Covid-19 infection. The SNBTS is developing a new clinical treatment using specific white blood cells isolated from recovered patients. These blood cells (known as T cells) are the main mechanism that the body uses to fight off the SARS virus, and will be isolated from blood donations from recovered patients and grown up in the lab to produce enough cells to treat other Covid19 patients. This proposed project is to examine the isolated and cultured coronavirus-specific T cells in much more detail to understand how they fight off the disease, and why some patients have more severe symptoms than others. We will investigate how the T cells recognise and attack the virus and determine which donors are best for making the new T cell therapy.

Research area: Infections, inflammation or immunology