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Brazil’s ‘Virus-MCTIC Network’ will nationally coordinate research to identifying complementarities of infrastructure and activities

Innovative response

The Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications of Brazil (MCTIC) established an advisory committee and strategic plan to provide coordinated and quick responses to emerging viruses. This "Virus-MCTIC Network" coordinates the efforts of research laboratories with a view to identifying complementarities of infrastructure and activities in the ongoing research on Covid-19, influenza and others. The objectives of the network are the integration of scientific research and development efforts in the area of emerging viruses; definition of research priorities; coordination of ongoing R,D&I initiatives related to emerging viruses; and development of technologies to assist the country in facing those challenges. Researchers and representatives of MCTIC, the Ministry of Health and development agencies participate in the initiative.

As an example, within this network, the National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) is already employing tools like computational biology and AI to evaluate the effectiveness of about 2 thousand existing drugs against Covid-19. Computational data tests use atomic structure data and the behavior of Covid-19 proteins to examine the interaction of molecules of available medications with these target proteins, and to pre-select those that show promise in interfering with the infection. Selected molecules will then be tested in vitro to verify its effectiveness in eliminating the virus, which will allow the new use of already available medications.

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

It is vital that research activities happen in a co-ordinated and efficient way. That is why this "Virus-MCTIC Network" coordinates the efforts of research laboratories with a view to identifying complementarities of infrastructure and activities in the ongoing research on Covid-19, influenza and others.

Organisations/institutions involved

Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications of Brazil

Level(s) of government:
  • National/Federal government

Issues being addressed:

  • Resource management and mobilisation
  • Governance responses

Response tags:

Date Submitted:

15 April 2020

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