A workgroup co-organized by NICEATM and the UK National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs) is coordinating activities among investigators to apply microphysiological systems (MPS) to investigations of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Workgroup members met with representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 3 to discuss research needs relevant to the biology and treatment of Omicron and the potential for MPS to provide human-relevant platforms for rapidly addressing those needs. A spreadsheet detailing relevant research capabilities is available on the WHO website.

The MPS for COVID Research working group was established by NICEATM and NC3Rs to coordinate the use of MPS to reduce animal use in studies of COVID-19 and future emerging infectious diseases. Workgroup members include researchers, MPS model developers, therapeutic/vaccine manufacturers, and international regulators; new members are welcome.