The Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID) at the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre (JCBC) is leading global efforts in the fight against COVID-19. Located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, all resources at CITIID, including some 150 scientists and clinicians, are focused entirely on researching the pandemic and producing data that will help in its understanding and control.
Sunway Group Founder and Chairman Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah also said that talks on collaborations between Sunway and the University of Cambridge were in progress to help bolster Malaysia’s battle against the virus.
Sunway Group Founder and Chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah
Meanwhile, the response at JCBC encompasses a wide range of pre-clinical and clinical studies, and trials including improved diagnostics, experimental treatments, vaccine candidates and large-scale observational studies.
Thanking Tan Sir Dr Jeffrey Cheah and Sunway for the pivotal role that JCBC has played in the on-going battle, University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope said: “It is clear how important this new facility (including the biocontainment capacity) is in enabling us to make a substantive contribution to national and international efforts. While no one could have anticipated this immediate and pressing role for CITIID, we are so glad to have it, and profoundly grateful for your visionary support in its creation.”
With containment level three facilities, CITIID is equipped to work on lethal and dangerous pathogens, and is currently leading the UK Government-supported COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium project. This initiative brings together the UK’s best scientists, public health agencies, numerous academic institutions and one of the world’s most-advanced centres of genomes and data, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to work on vaccine research efforts.
Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre is located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the largest biotech cluster outside the United States
Rapid testing capabilities have also been set up by the CITIID team using SAMBA II machines that were developed by University of Cambridge spinout company, Diagnostics for the Real World. Available at Addenbrookes Hospital, these tests are capable of producing results for COVID-19 infection in under 90 minutes compared to current tests which can take over 24 hours or longer.
Launched in September 2019, JCBC is part of the largest biotech cluster outside of the United States and is one of a number of partnerships between Sunway and the University of Cambridge to expand research capabilities, knowledge and skills in Malaysia and the region. Apart from CITIID, it also houses the Wellcome-MRC Stem Cell Institute and the Milner Therapeutics Institute, each working together to transform pioneering research into effective therapies.