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Global Health Problem-Solvers Call KC Home

by Danni Hammontree | Jul 01, 2020


With a reputation for expertise in infectious disease, supporting global clients to predict, prevent and control outbreaks such as Ebola, SARS and MERS, MRIGlobal is immersed in combating SARS-CoV-2.

In the lab:

  • MRIGlobal developed a small animal model (hamster) to test the efficacy of therapeutics, prophylaxis and vaccines designed specifically against SARS-CoV-2. The organization performed an extensive Natural History Study to learn about the disease progression and where to best target drugs against the disease.
  • For another client, MRIGlobal tested the effectiveness of several disinfectants and devices aimed specifically at decontamination of SARS-CoV-2 within PPE, as well as large buildings and spaces designed specifically for home use (hospitals, schools and government buildings). e Testing included UV, ozone, hydrogen peroxide and plasma technologies. Several of these technologies were effective at reducing viral titers on surfaces or in PPE by as much as 4 to 5 logs (over 99.99% effective).
  • MRIGlobal verified a drug’s effectiveness in in vitro tissue culture assays against SARS-CoV-2 and recently learned that the drug is moving to the FDA for the potential treatment of COVID-19.
  • Initially, MRIGlobal’s focus in SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus/COVID-19 was developing Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) assays, followed by further testing to obtain FDA clearance for the diagnostic assays. In addition, MRIGIobal evaluated the efficacy and safety of vaccines and therapeutics, including efforts to discover new antiviral candidates. Simultaneously, the organization is ramping up teams to support human clinical trials of medical countermeasures now under development.

In your lab or business for return-to-work:

  • Returning to the workplace, campuses and businesses amid a pandemic calls for credentialed biosafety experts to assess programs and for risk and biosafety. MRIGlobal provides relevant, up-to-date site assessments and training in the U.S. and internationally.

In the Field Evacuation/Diagnostics/Treatment During Pandemic:

  • MRIGlobal’s Containerized BioContainment Systems (CBCS) were designed to fly patients with highly infected disease to medical treatment centers while maintaining full biocontainment. The units fit in the belly of a cargo plane for flight. The CBCS doesn’t just fly, because of its full biocontainment system, it can be used remotely or in a medical center for quarantine. MRIGlobal’s CBCS units have been used to transport infected patients safely to medical treatment centers, and the biocontainment units have been featured in local and national media recently.
  • MRIGlobal also offers mobile lab design, fabrication and staffing. The new Athena laboratory is a mobile diagnostic laboratory that can be custom equipped and fielded wherever needed. Access to rapid, reliable and accurate laboratory analysis of local conditions is critically important to decision makers in every type of environment. From commanders evaluating CBRNE threats in theater to doctors triaging patients in remote villages, prompt situational knowledge is mission critical.

“I am incredibly encouraged by the creative solutions and collaborative approaches of our clients. We are particularly excited at the large number of companies within the Kansas City metro area, extending through the Animal Health Corridor and its  success in the generation of decontamination devices showing efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, many of the companies have generated or repurposed drugs that are showing efficacy in counteracting the effect of the COVID-19 disease state,” said William Sosna, BS, program manager that has been overseeing  many of the SARS-CoV-2 efficacy testing at MRIGlobal. 

More about MRIGobal

The work of Kansas City-based MRIGlobal impacts health and safety around the world. From defense, and energy to health, since 1944, its scientists and engineers serve government, industry and academia. MRIGlobal spearheaded global health initiatives to help people with Ebola, cancer, Alzheimer’s, HIV, and cornavirus such as SARS and MERS, and now COVID-19.

The result is a culture that powers through tough projects like the 2020 pandemic. | MRIGlobal.org 





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