ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme 2) is a protein found on the surface of the cells of our lungs and other organs. The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, uses ACE2 to break into and infect our cells.
The aim of the MAD-CoV 2 project is to build on and use this knowledge to develop innovative treatments for COVID-19. It will do this via a number of approaches, including engineering human tissue to test new treatments in the lab; studying how to exploit the role of ACE2; and mapping in detail the factors that are critical for virus replication.
The team hopes to rapidly translate this knowledge into new, targeted drugs to fight COVID-19 as well as any future coronavirus outbreaks. The project has committed to making its data and unique tissue reagents available to the entire community for drug testing and development, supporting all other efforts.