Rising to the COVID-19 Challenge: Using Preclinical Models to Assess Vaccines and Antivirals

Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Drug Discovery & Development, Drug Safety, Preclinical,
  • Thursday, November 18, 2021

Given the enormity of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are pursuing multiple drug, immune therapy, and vaccine development strategies. SRI, as one of NIH’s leading preclinical partners, has a long history of rapid response to critical issues like COVID-19To help address this new viral challenge, SRI International has utilized their biosafety level 3 (BSL3) facilities and mobilized its virology and immunology groups to develop preclinical and in vitro COVID-19 models.

Using these novel models, they have the ability to test novel antiviral approaches against multiple SARS-CoV-2 strains, including the Delta strain. For example, they can partner with a wide variety of companies to screen their novel biologics for activity against SARS-CoV-2 variants in their own in vitro assays. Within months of the pandemic, SRI scientists determined in vivo LD50 infection curves and used these parameters to best assess anti-viral compounds.

These assays can generate realistic data to guide the development of robust antiviral approaches to eliminate the pandemic threat. SRI is working with scientists from around the world to create practical antiviral treatments that will be used for years. Additionally, they are working to develop and validate rapid in vitro testing platforms to screen for SARS-CoV-2 exposure and infection.

Their anti-COVID-19 mobilization has resulted in:

  1. A realistic in vivo model to test novel compounds at a biologically relevant virus dose
  2. Multiple in vitro assays to complement in vivo studies and rapidly screen novel antiviral compounds for efficacy against live SARS-CoV-2 virus variants
  3. The capability of testing novel approaches to treat, diagnose, and prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection

Register for this webinar to hear more about these preclinical models — including the data they have generated — and how they are working with partners to improve preclinical modeling for COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines.


Mary Lanier, PhD., Director of Immunology and Virology, SRI Biosciences, A Division of SRI International

Dr. Lanier is an expert in vaccinology, virology, immunology and host pathogen interactions. She has published peer reviewed articles on vaccine development and testing, immune responses to virus infections and the impact of viruses on host metabolism. She has deep knowledge of host response to a virus infection and its associated pathology, as well as a thorough understanding of the role vaccines have in protection from virus associated diseases.

She has over 20 years of vaccine, immunology and virology experience. In addition to leading the immunology group at SRI, she is also leading the virology group that researches and performs studies using SARS-CoV-2, LCMV, influenza and herpes viruses. Dr. Lanier has also lectured students at UCSF and Samuel Merritt University about virology, immunology, microbiology and genetics. She has recently been highlighted in a USA Today article and a Healthline story on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

This webinar will benefit those working on COVID-19 programs, including drug repurposing, with relevant job titles such as:

  • Preclinical Scientists
  • R&D Professionals
  • Immunologists
  • Virologists

What You Will Learn

Join this webinar to gain an understanding of:

  1. The models that SRI has available for partnerships
  2. What is a biologically relevant COVID-19 model
  3. The benefit of using live virus modeling
  4. The benefit of doing in vitro and in vivo models with a single partner

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SRI International

SRI International, a non-profit research institute founded in 1946 and headquartered in Menlo Park, California, creates world-changing solutions to make people safer, healthier, and more productive. SRI Biosciences, a division of SRI International, integrates basic biomedical research with drug and diagnostics discovery, and preclinical and clinical development. SRI Biosciences has advanced more than 175 drugs to clinical trials, and approximately 20 have reached the market. The division is focused on novel platforms and programs in a variety of therapeutic areas targeting Discovery through Preclinical development in high unmet medical need areas. SRI Biosciences collaborates with a broad range of partners from small and virtual biotechnology companies to top pharmaceutical companies and other leading industry partners. More information is available at www.sri.com/biosciences.

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