24 Apr 2020 21:26

U.S. to send humanized mice to Russia to test coronavirus vaccine - Russian Academy of Sciences president

MOSCOW. April 24 (Interfax) - Russia has agreed with the United States on the delivery of humanized mice with human immune cells, which could help conduct preclinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine and test medicines against Covid-19, Russian Academy of Sciences President Alexander Sergeyev said.

"We have exchanged relevant letters now and expect such mice to come to Russia, and so we will have a full-scale model for preclinical trials [of a coronavirus vaccine]," Sergeyev said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television channel on Friday.

U.S. scientists have developed a humanized model of mice having human immune cells using genetic engineering methods.

"And this is an excellent model both for testing medications and for developing vaccines," Sergeyev said.

He said also that the Russian Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences will sign a protocol on cooperation in opposing the new coronavirus infection spread within the next few days. "There are a lot of representatives of our diaspora in the U.S., and a lot of foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences are Americans. They like to cooperate with us during this period very much," he said.

Seventeen academies of sciences, including the Russian Academy of Sciences, came up with a joint statement on April 9, inviting all scientists around the world to cooperate in fighting the new coronavirus pandemic. The statement was signed by the academies of sciences of Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, the U.S., the Royal Society of Canada, the Science Council of Japan, the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, the Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, and the Global Young Academy.