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Coronavirus: Dolly Parton donates $1m for cure research

Vanderbilt University is looking into antibody therapies for Covid-19

Clémence Michallon
Wednesday 01 April 2020 20:40 BST
Dolly Parton on 13 November 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dolly Parton on 13 November 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Dolly Parton has announced she’s donating $1m to research looking for a cure to coronavirus.

The artist made the announcement on social media on Wednesday.

“My longtime friend Dr Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure,” she tweeted.

“I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”

Dr Naji Abumrad is a surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where Parton rose to fame.

The medical centre announced on 23 March that it has started researching antibody therapies for Covid-19.

Researchers are analysing antibodies isolated from the blood of people who have recovered from Covid-19, looking to see if those antibodies can inhibit the virus and possibly stop it from causing illness, according to the centre.

Dr James Crowe, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, said the team hopes to “prepare antibodies for human clinical trials by this summer”.

“We have ultra-rapid antibody discovery technologies and already have discovered SARS-CoV-2 antibodies,” Crowe added.

“Our partners have the manufacturing and product development expertise to turn these antibodies into effective biological drugs very quickly.”

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