NIAID provides resources to support product development at each stage of the pipeline.
Basic research resources include the distribution of viral isolates and reagents through the NIAID-funded BEI Resources Repository.
Requesting SARS-CoV-2 From BEI Resources
BEI Resources is prioritizing and fast-tracking all SARS-CoV-2 registrations. Typically, there is a 2- to 3-week timeframe for BEI registrations. However, for SARS-CoV-2 requests, BEI anticipates a 24- to 72-hour registration turnaround time. Researchers who need assistance with their registrations can contact BEI directly at 800-359-7370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: BEI recently released the genomic RNA from the first available strain of SARS-CoV-2. This genomic RNA is available for distribution for researchers as a BSL-2 item.
Researchers are encouraged to check the BEI website often, as BEI will be listing information on SARS-CoV-2 reagents as soon as the material becomes available. For more information, visit BEI’s SARS-CoV-2 information page.
Sequencing, Structural, and Bioinformatic Resources
Structural and genomic data generated by NIAID-funded researchers is made available rapidly through public databases. The NIAID-funded Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases has launched a workspace in Terra where they provide best practices workflows to assist researchers processing and analyzing SARS-CoV-2 genomic data. More information about the COVID-19 workspace can be found at Terra Support. The center also posted wet lab protocols for SARS-CoV-2 metagenomic sequencing and contributed sequencing protocols to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made available through SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing on GitHub.
In addition to sequencing data, SARS-CoV-2 structures determined by the NIAID-funded Structural Genomics Center are being rapidly deposited in databases such as the Protein Data Bank, while bioinformatic data is being made available through ViPR.
Preclinical Research and Services
In addition to basic research resources, NIAID maintains a comprehensive suite of preclinical services for the scientific community. These include in vitro and in vivo screening, assay development, product optimization, safety and toxicology testing, and GMP manufacturing. Note that the purpose of these NIAID services is not to assist researchers in developing a particular product from start to finish, but rather to lower the financial risk to product developers by providing limited, but critical, information to fill specific gaps in the product development pipeline. NIAID is working to expand its preclinical services to add assays for testing candidate products against the 2019 SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and in animal models once these assays are available.
Preclinical Research and Animal Modeling at the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick
The NIAID Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick), located in Frederick, MD, provides support for preclinical studies on SARS-CoV-2 using in vitro and in vivo systems.
The IRF-Frederick has developed and tested high-throughput live‑virus neutralization assays with convalescent patient sera, human monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, and engineered single-chain antibodies. Hamster and nonhuman primate animal models established in the maximum-containment laboratories at the IRF-Frederick are leveraged in collaborative SARS-CoV-2 studies.
The unique medical imaging and aerobiology capabilities of the IRF-Frederick, along with comprehensive pathology and immunology tools, have resulted in characterized models for assessing medical countermeasures. For example, as part of Operation Warp Speed, the IRF‑Frederick has compared prophylactic and therapeutic use of human antibodies to prevent or treat disease in the hamster model.
Resources for Clinical Researchers
View a list of helpful COVID-19 clinical research resources.
Finally, NIAID has clinical networks to evaluate promising products in clinical trials. These include the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC), which encompasses the long-standing NIAID Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEU), and the Phase 1 Clinical Trial Units for Therapeutics.