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Bill Gates funds study in Flanders to find corona cure

Joining the fight against coronavirus (Covid-19), American business magnate Bill Gates ordered a large-scale study at the Flanders-based Rega Institute for Medical Research, one of the world’s leading centers in microbiological research. No fewer than 15,000 medicinal samples will be tested in order to find a potential cure for the coronavirus. The institute is part of Leuven University (KU Leuven), one of Flanders’ 5 universities and Europe’s most innovative. 

Positive test result by using rapid test device for COVID-19

Cutting-edge laboratory

The Rega Institute for Medical Research was chosen for the study because of its unique laboratory. "We can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The lab is fully automated; robots and equipment perform the work. This makes it possible to test thousands of medicinal samples in just a week or two at most," asserts Johan Neyts, professor of virology at the Rega Institute for Medical Research.

This speed is what makes KU Leuven's research facility such a powerful force in the fight against coronavirus. Professor Johan Neyts: "We now have a set of 15,000 molecules from the US to test, as well as 3,500 substances from a Leuven collection. We are ahead of other studies because of our unique facilities, which other labs do not have.”

Pioneer in antiviral research

The KU Leuven study is financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). This is the foundation of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who, among other causes, is committed to the fight against infectious diseases. The fact that he chose KU Leuven’s Rega Institute for Medical Research is no coincidence. Since its foundation in 1954, the institute has played a leading role in the fight against bacterial and viral infections – contributing to Flanders’ leading position in life sciences.

More info

Rega Institute KU Leuven
Reported by
10 March 2020

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