Albert Einstein College of Medicine has received a $1 million challenge grant from Michael F. Price and the Price Family Foundation to support COVID-19 research.
The foundation will match donations to Einstein for research on the coronavirus.
“Our longstanding partnership with Einstein is based on its extraordinary strength in translational research, moving breakthrough discoveries in the lab into the clinic to help patients,” Price said. “The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Bronx and Westchester particularly hard, which provides Einstein and Montefiore with an extraordinary opportunity to play a leadership role in the development of diagnostics and treatments in the fight against the pandemic and we are committed to supporting them in this important work.”
Einstein and Montefiore Health System have been at the forefront of treating COVID-19 patients, conducting several clinical trials on promising drugs and treatments and spearheading significant research initiatives, including the development of antibody tests.
Price, through his foundation, is a longtime major supporter of Einstein. The institution’s newest basic and translational research building bears his name and the foundation supports collaborations between researchers and clinicians focusing on pediatrics in the Bronx.
With a large and growing number of those who have recovered from the disease, researchers at Einstein and Montefiore are leading the national effort to conduct a rigorous clinical trial on the use of convalescent plasma to treat those fighting the infection. The study brought together researchers and infectious disease clinicians and has resulted in a new antibody test, which has been approved for clinical use.
“Einstein and Montefiore are perfectly placed to take a lead role in the fight against COVID-19 and help blunt the impact of the pandemic not only in our city, but around the world,” said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz dean at Einstein. “With no natural immunity, no vaccine, and no approved treatments, this pandemic requires all of us to marshal our resources, focus on the most pressing problems, and devise meaningful solutions. Mr. Price’s generous gift is critically important to us to take immediate steps and is a clear call to action for others to join the charge.”
In addition to the plasma study, Einstein and Montefiore have a several current and planned research projects on the novel coronavirus:
- A compound invented at Einstein is now in clinical trials in Brazil.
- The team behind the antibody test is working on developing monoclonal (synthetic) antibodies for a treatment.
- Researchers at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore are contributing to research on how the virus acts in children.
- Montefiore-Einstein is a site for numerous national studies testing promising drugs, including those on remdesivir,hydroxychloroquine, leronlimab and sarilumab.
Einstein has also launched the COVID-19 Research Collaboratories to connect scientists in a range of disciplines, foster collaborations and facilitate new investigations into the virus. Pilot funding will be provided to propel promising research projects ahead.