Protecting Canadians by Predicting the Evolution of COVID-19

Preparing for the second COVID-19 wave with AI predictions of virus changes.

Project Budget*- $2.1M

Partner Co-investment - $0.2M

Supercluster Co-investment - $1.8M

Terramera – $1.83 M

*Contracted amounts as of September 30, 2020. 

Project Partners

Project Overview

Like global pandemics of the past, we are in the middle of a second wave of COVID-19 in Canada and around the world. Mutations of the virus are prevalent, similar to the way new variants of the influenza virus emerge and spread every winter. 

Changes in the virus structure bring changes in how the virus can be detected and treated in patients and slowed or stopped from spreading.  

Predicting those changes is the goal of the Protecting Canadians by Predicting the Evolution of COVID-19 project led by Terramera and bringing together the University of British Columbia, Menten AI, Microsoft, and ProMIS Neurosciences.   

Massive amounts of computing power is being used to help unlock possible mutations of the virus. A combination of artificial intelligence and computer modelling is forecasting potential changes in the virus and developing detailed knowledge of possible virus structures.  

The work will zero in on one part of the coronavirus – the viral spike protein. A coronavirus invades a healthy cell via these spikes, which vary between different coronaviruses. 

This virtual work gives researchers a real-life head start in developing therapeutics and vaccines that would treat patients or provide immunity to the mutated version of COVID-19, and develop the antibody tests to determine new cases and make contact tracing possible. 

Solutions will help health authorities prepare for future outbreaks and better protect the health and safety of Canadians.  

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