The event to present the results of the R&D projects NANOFLUIDETEC and DIGITAL BIOCoV was held this morning in Faculty of Sciences of Lugo and online through the Zoom platform, in the framework of the CONNECT COVID 2021 programme, as part of the European Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DIGITAL BIOCoV "Early prediction of anti-COVID-19 activity on biomolecules present in fungi and microalgae by applying Machine Learning techniques integrating biological and chemical data", has laid the foundations for accelerated development for the discovery of new anti-COVID drugs. COVID-19 through prediction based on the combination of biological activity data and chemical analysis data, and which would also be extrapolated to other diseases.

It has started from an existing collection of 150 fungi with proven medicinal potential, and more than 15 species of microalgae that produce active compounds, from which fractions have been developed that have been subjected in isolation or in combination to anti-antimicrobial bioactivity studies. COVID-19 in vitro and chemical characterization in the laboratory. All these data (bioactivity and characterization) have been integrated into an artificial intelligence tool from which we can extract greater knowledge of the composition and functionality of the samples tested, thus accelerating the early drug discovery stage from natural products.

The consortium is also made up of 3 Galician companies: Hifas da Terra, its leader and based in Pontevedra; Plexus Technology, located in Santiago de Compostela; the AMSbiopharma and CIFGA laboratories from Lugo and also have the support of the University of Santiago de Compostela as a subcontracted company of a collaborating entity.

Another project was also presented at the event: NANOFLUIDETEC: “Rapid and automatable detection for SARS-Cov-2 based on PCR, nanotechnology and microfluidics”. In this case, a multivirus RNA extraction kit manufactured entirely in Galicia using magnetic nanoparticle technology has been designed, developed and clinically validated. At the same time, an on-chip microfluidics system has been developed integrating RNA extraction, amplification and fluorescence, the use of which has been automated through the design and manufacture of a prototype combining magnetic transport, temperature control and optical detection of the signal. This automated device for the rapid diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, which combines nanotechnology, loop isothermal amplification (LAMP) and microfluidics, is intended for use at the point of care, which is an advantage over current detection systems since qualified personnel are not required.

The consortium that has carried out this research is made up of four Galician companies: the Applied Mass Spectrometry Laboratory from Lugo; AMSbiopharma, a company belonging to the AMSlab Group, leader of the project and also located in Lugo; Bflow, based in Santiago de Compostela and the Lugo Campus of the University of Santiago de Compostela through the Individual Molecule Fluorescence research unit, which collaborated jointly for its execution.

These projects are subsidized by the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN), financed from the FEDER Funds and have the support of the Xunta de Galicia through the second vice-presidency and the Ministry of Economy, Business and Innovation. The operation is financed through the CONECTA COVID 2021 program within the framework of the REACT-EU axis of the Feder Galicia 2014-2020 operational program, as part of the European Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.