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Scientists at Harvard University in the US are set to collaborate with their Chinese colleagues to develop therapies and diagnostics for the novel coronavirus.

Harvard Medical School will act as the hub for scientists, investigators and clinical researchers from the medical school, its affiliated hospitals and institutes, other regional institutions and biotech companies.

The five-year alliance will see Harvard University and China’s Guangzhou Institute for Respiratory Health share $115m research funding from China Evergrande Group.

Harvard Medical School dean George Daley said: “With the extraordinary scale and depth of relevant clinical and scientific capabilities in our community, Harvard Medical School is uniquely positioned to convene experts in virology, infectious disease, structural biology, pathology, vaccine development, epidemiology and public health to confront this rapidly evolving crisis.”

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The collaboration aims to gain better insights into the coronavirus’ basic biology and behaviour while working on disease detection and therapeutic design.

As part of the project, the team will focus on developing rapid diagnostic tests, identifying disease biomarkers, as well as creating vaccines, antiviral drugs and treatments.

See all Coronavirus vaccines and drugs in the pipeline