The need to rapidly develop new medical countermeasures is critical for enabling a timely response to newly emerging pandemic pathogens, such as COVID-19, and equally for intentional releases of advanced or emerging biological threat agents. LLNL’s efforts in identifying treatment options complement the efforts of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and other Federal agencies by helping to understand the scientific phenomena contributing to disease and, by extension, to apply these capabilities to help the nation with early-stage medical countermeasure discovery.
Several ongoing research projects have been re-directed or started to support rapid identification of medical countermeasures (drugs and vaccines), including:
Vaccine and antibody therapeutic optimization pipeline
- The Laboratory has developed an artificial intelligence–driven computational design platform, which is being used to optimize binding of antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. An initial set of promising antibody designs has been identified and is undergoing experimental validation. This platform can also be used to rapidly design vaccine antigens. The initial set of antibody predictions are available on the LLNL COVID-19 Data Portal.
- LLNL researchers have authored an accelerated publication: Rapid in silico design of antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 using machine learning and supercomputing
Small molecule (drug) discovery modeling
- The Laboratory is computationally screening over 700 million commercially available small molecule compounds to identify the subset that can be developed into antiviral drugs for COVID-19. When potential candidates are identified, we conduct additional machine learning screens for improving safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of the potential drugs. Initial small molecule predictions are available on the LLNL COVID-19 Data Portal.
Structural protein modeling
- We are developing computational drug target identification tools to accelerate the process of finding new drugs. Our initial structural predictions for the SARS-CoV2 spike protein are available on the LLNL COVID-19 Data Portal.
- Accelerated publication - Quantitative form and fit of N95 filtering facepiece respirators are retained and coronavirus surrogate is inactivated after heat treatments
- Accelerated publication - Rapid in silico design of antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 using machine learning and supercomputing
- June 25, 2020 - Lab technologies help fight COVID-19
- June 9, 2020 - Lab, BMI produce FDA-approved emergency ventilator
- June 8, 2020 - Multi-lab research to improve COVID-19 diagnostics
- May 29, 2020 - Lab team studies calibrated AI and deep learning models to more reliably diagnose and treat disease
- May 21, 2020 - Lab provides assistance in national swab shortage
- May 19, 2020 - COVID-19 research goes public through new portal
- May 14, 2020 - Deactivating coronavirus on N95 respirators for reuse
- May 1, 2020 - LLNL’s new machine learning platform generates novel COVID-19 antibody sequences for experimental testing
- April 29, 2020 - LLNL develops ‘stopgap’ ventilator for COVID-19 use
- April 21, 2020 - Upgrades for LLNL supercomputer from AMD, Penguin Computing aid COVID-19 research
- March 26, 2020 - New partnership to unleash U.S. supercomputing resources in the fight against COVID-19
- March 26, 2020 - Lab antibody, anti-viral research aids COVID-19 response
- February 3, 2020 - Lawrence Livermore researchers release 3D protein structure predictions for the novel coronavirus
- May 5, 2020 - Advanced manufacturing innovation helps industry in COVID-19 fight
- May 5, 2020 - 3-D printed COVID-19 test swabs pass their own tests
- May 4, 2020 - Swab Shortage: FATHOM & Abiogenix Bridge the Gap with 3D Printed NP Swabs
- April 14, 2020 - LLNL’s Jim Brase explains how DOE labs are fighting (and coping with) COVID-19
- February 5, 2020 - Coronavirus: Lawrence Livermore Lab researchers examine virus in hopes of blocking, treating it
For more information about the U.S. government's response to COVID-19, see coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus. For the latest public health and safety information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, see cdc.gov/coronavirus.