The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic still requires attention from researchers around the globe, especially due to the rapid mutation rate of the virus. The virus attaches to cells by binding its outer spike proteins to the receptor protein ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), which is highly expressed on respiratory cells. ACE2 also acts as the receptor for the human respiratory coronavirus NL63 and the SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Studies have shown that the binding affinity of the viral spike protein for ACE2 correlates with higher transmissibility of the coronavirus and contagiousness of the disease. Researchers are investigating both antiviral drugs and vaccines to block infection and replication of the virus [ref. 1-5]. Additionally, many scientists are looking into the ‘cytokine storm’, an excessive production of cytokines in response to the virus leading to adverse effects in the patient.
Several of our suppliers offer tools to assist researchers who are investigating treatments and vaccines against COVID-19. In this section, we give you an overview of all corona-related research reagents that we offer.
Click on the targets and go directly to the products. More SARS-CoV-2 related product can be found in our webshop.
COVID-19 tests and assay kits
Correct diagnosis of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is of paramount importance in fighting the pandemic caused by it. Therefore a large effort was put into quickly developing tests and assay kits for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in, for example, blood or swabs from patients with symptoms of COVID-19. These kits are mainly focused on either identifying the viral RNA by RT-PCR or finding antibodies against the viral membrane proteins. Several of these testing systems have acquired the CE-IVD certification immediately and are therefore suitable for in vitro diagnostics of patients. One of the highly anticipated tests is the rapid test, which is a chromatographic immunoassay that indicates the presence of primary and secondary infection based on the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Bio-Connect Diagnostics offers a number of different rapid tests (with and without CE-IVD mark) as well as PCR-based assays. Additionally, we offer a number of high-quality ELISA kits for detection of IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 or the identification of viral antigen proteins in human plasma and serum. Our assays allow high-throughput testing of a large number of patient samples or sporadic checks on individuals.
Antibodies are some of the most widely used research tools in life science. The specificity and affinity of these antibodies are of paramount importance for the success of a study. Bio-Connect offers a comprehensive portfolio of high quality antibodies directed against the different components of SARS-CoV-2 as well as ACE2, allowing you to find a suitable antibody for any application. Besides this, we offer many related antibodies, for example targeting SARS-CoV and other coronaviruses. The manufacturing partners put great effort into testing the quality of their products and support the five pillars of antibody validation.
As soon as the sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was determined in early 2020, the production of recombinant proteins was initiated. Recombinantly expressed protein is essential for investigation into the function of viral proteins and their separate subunits in COVID-19. Different parts of the coronavirus are investigated for potential treatment, production of preventive medicine or diagnostic kits. However, there is a particularly strong focus on the spike protein, which is mainly responsible for entry into the host cell. This protein is made up of several subunits, including the surface unit S1, transmembrane unit S2 and the receptor-binding domain (RBD). In addition to the spike protein, important components are the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2 as well as the human ACE2 and TMPRSS receptors. Bio-Connect offers a comprehensive set of important SARS-CoV-2 and related proteins from several manufacturers.
The last few months many SARS-CoV-2 variants are spreading across the planet. The following variants are designated as a variant of concern (VoC) [ref. 29]:
Alpha, British variant, B.1.1.7 (N501Y, P681H, D614G, et al.)
Beta, South-African variant, B.1.351 (N501Y, E484K, K417N, et al.)
Gamma, Brazilian variant, P.1 (K417T, E484K, N501Y, et al.)
Delta, Indian variant, B.1.617.2 (E484Q, L452R, P681R, et al.)
Our suppliers have worked hard to develop various new recombinant spike variants and other relevant products.
To date, treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 is limited, as potential therapies are still in the trial phases. Researchers are looking for antivirals that inhibit infection or replication of the coronavirus, as well as immunomodulatory compounds. The latter is relevant because many patients experience an overwhelming and sometimes deadly production of proinflammatory cytokines, known as the cytokine storm. Bio-Connect offers several compounds that can potentially alter the immune response in COVID-19 patients, such as Tocilizumab, which is a monoclonal antibody blocking the IL-6 receptor. We also offer promising agents relevant to antiviral research, such as Remdesivir (GS-5734), Camostat mesylate (TMPRSS2) and Favipiravir (T-705). These compounds are being investigated for their interference with SARS-CoV-2 and closely related viruses in the human body. On this page, you will also find compounds that are more distantly related to infectious diseases and have the potential to be effective in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Many of these compounds have already been approved for treatment of other diseases and therefore provide a strong advantage over new compounds, which would have to go through thorough safety testing. Finally, we offer an Anti-COVID-19 Compound Library (HY-L052) from MedChem Express.
When investigating COVID-19 or producing kits for fellow researchers, it may be necessary to produce the individual proteins of SARS-CoV-2 or the host in a specific, controlled expression system. Cloning these expression vectors tends to be tedious and time consuming. Therefore, Bio-Connect offers a large number of ready-to-go viral gene products as well as plasmids containing the sequence for human proteins involved in infection. All plasmids come with several options of tags. If you cannot find the right plasmid, do not hesitate to send a custom cloning request for a plasmid that will perfectly suit your needs. It is also possible to reconstitute live virus of any coronavirus species, wild-type or mutated version, by transfecting a coronavirus vector into the proper packaging cells.
Cytokine storm in COVID-19
Inflammation is an essential part of an effective immune response. The overproduction of early response of pro-inflammatory cytokines results in a cytokine storm, an excessive immune response to external stimuli. This can lead to an increased risk of vascular hyperpermeability, multiorgan failure, and eventually death. SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine expression has been suggested to be a potent agitator of the host immune system, leading to destructive autoinflammation, organ failure and death. Researchers are investigating various COVID-19 therapeutic strategies targeting the overactive cytokine response using anti-cytokine therapies or immunomodulators in combination with antiviral drugs. We offer multiple ELISA kits for the detection of various inflammatory cytokines in various biological samples.
Furin & Cathepsin L: New Targets for COVID-19 Drug Screening
In addition to PromoCell’s assays for studying binding of SARS-CoV-2 to the ACE2 receptor and screening for respective inhibitors/drugs, they offer the Furin Activity Assay Kit & Furin Inhibitor Screening Kit as well as Cathepsin L Activity Assay Kit & Cathepsin L Inhibitor Screening Kit as tools to develop new targeted therapeutics for COVID-19. In addition, a broad range of other Cathepsin Assays, Cathepsin Inhibitors as well as recombinant Cathepsins, Cathepsin antibodies & ELISAs also useful to study SARS-CoV infections (e.g. Cathepsin B) are available at PromoCell. They also supply a choice of biochemicals with known inhibitory effects on SARS-CoVs as well as a range of high-quality antibodies specifically directed against particular components of SARS-CoV and the ACE2 receptor.
Custom vectors from VectorBuilder
VectorBuilder’s coronavirus vector system allows users to reconstitute live virus of any coronavirus species – wild-type or mutated version – by simply transfecting the vector into the proper packaging cells. The resulting virus can be further propagated and amplified to any quantity in the appropriate cell line. They also offer a variety of lentivirus vectors pseudotyped with S proteins from a wide range of coronavirus species. Different vectors can be used to express different reporters, such as EGFP or luciferase, allowing the monitoring of viral entry into host cells by a variety of means.
VectorBuilder also offers VSV Pseudotyped with Coronavirus S protein. They will assist you with the design and have unlimited customization options. It provides a safe alternative to live SARS-CoV-2 virus for studying S protein-mediated entry into host cells. Additionally, you can use bald VSV, lacking the viral envelope, as a negative control.
Design your own vector or send vector design request for:
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