HPA in the fight against Covid-19


The Human Protein Atlas (HPA) consortium is engaged in the corona epidemic in various ways to aid in the fight against the health consequences of this pandemic outbreak.

The program involves both efforts to increase the knowledge-base of the disease and efforts to develop diagnostic tools and therapeutic drugs to combat the pandemic. The work is performed in collaboration at both the national and international level and in a press release, some selected programs are described with relevance for the fight against corona by the HPA consortium. Today, an article was published in BioRxiv (Hikmet et al) describing the presence in the human body of the enzyme Angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), previously proposed to be the main target for coronavirus attachment to the surface of human cells. The results raise questions regarding the role of ACE2 for infection of human lungs and highlights the need to further explore the route of transmission during SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In addition, an effort to develop an antibody-based serological assay to detect the presence or absence of antibodies to the corona virus is under development. Furthermore, a diagnostic laboratory for corona-virus is set-up at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm) to expand the national capacity of viral testing of swab tests. Finally, AbClon, a company founded by South Korean scientists and HPA researchers, has recently announced that they have developed antibodies to bind to SARS-CoV-2.

Read the full article about ACE2: Hikmet et al (www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.31.016048v1)

Read more: Press release