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Fast Grants

the Crankstart Foundation
Emergent Ventures
George Mason University
the Thistledown Foundation
Collaboration Platform
COVID-19.For the
UCB Drug Discovery

Fast Grants
John Collison
Patrick Collison
Scott Farquhar
Paul Graham
Reid Hoffman
Fiona McKean
Tobias Lütke
Julia Milner
Vannevar Bush
Julia Schaletzky
Sarah Stanley


Crystal Sacca
the Bay Area

the Mercatus Center


World War II

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The next day the director could authorize, the business office could send out a letter of intent, and the actual work could start.” Fast Grants are an effort to unlock progress at a cadence similar to that which served us well then.For the development of a Covid-19 vaccine specificially targeted to the receptor-binding domain of the viral S protein using expertise gained during successful development of anti-malaria and anti-chikungunya vaccines.For a collaborative effort with the Lingwood and Schmidt labs combining vaccine immunology and nanotechnology expertise to rapidly test and characterize COVID-19 vaccine candidates in high-throughput.To study the immune basis of COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDs) via longitudinal study of patients undergoing placebo and convalescent plasma treatment in order to inform evidence-based repurposing of targeted immunotherapies to improve outcomes for critically-ill patients affected by COVID-19.To probe the human B cell repertoire for SARS-CoV-2-protective B cells from pre-immune individuals in order to guide vaccine and monoclonal antibody design against COVID-19.To support a randomized, controlled clinical trial testing whether continuation, or discontinuation of two common types of blood pressure medication leads to better outcomes in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.For high-throughput screening of antibody responses in COVID-19 patients for therapeutic discovery and to accelerate vaccine design.For the ACT program design using innovative and adaptive methodology to find a safe, effective treatment to slow the progression of COVID-19 across 80 sites in 8 countries over 6 months.For a comparative study to validate saliva as a test for SARS-CoV-2, as an alternative to nasopharyngeal swab testing and its associated problems, including depletion of swabs and personal protective equipment, and risk of nosocomial infection from close proximity of health care worker and patient being testedFor using their combined expertise in virology and in multisubunit protein production to engineer virus-like particles (VLPs), which will allow for rapid testing of the neutralization capacity of recovered patient sera (in collaboration with the Blish lab) or designed antibodies targeting the S protein (in collaboration with the Wells lab).For the discovery of CoV-2 particle entry in absence of ACE2 and genome-wide gain-of-function screening to identify new secondary receptors/co-receptors/auxiliary proteins that facilitate viral entry/fusion.To determine the potential of GSK-3 inhibitors to diminish the cytokine storm associated with COVID-19.To support the Antithrombotic Therapy to Ameliorate Complications of COVID-19 (ATTACC) trial. This international, multicenter, adaptive, open-label randomized clinical trial will examine the impact of therapeutic anticoagulation in comparison to standard venous thromboprophylaxis on the risk of intubation and death in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.For the TURQUOISE Ottawa COVID-19 study profiling immune responses of COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), with a focus on the potential immunomodulatory function of mesenchymal stem cells.To perform a randomized, representative, community-based, longitudinal study of short and long-term spread, asymptomatic infection rates, disease risk modifying factors and effects of non-pharmacological interventions for COVID-19 in the Bay Area.For the discovery of diagnostic and actionable biomarkers of COVID-19.To elucidate the single cell transcriptional profiles of infected tissues from COVID-19 patients.For elucidating a newly discovered mechanism by which the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to its receptor(s) on trachea and nasal epithelium and defining a new drug target to block viral uptake and spread.To perform a clinical trial assessing the efficacy of sobetirome in reducing the requirements for mechanical ventilation and mortality of moderate to severe hospitalized COVID-19 patients.To generate a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 using a novel polymer for mRNA protection.To explore the pathogenic role of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in COVID-19 by testing a strategy to dismantle NETs using a novel therapeutic to ameliorate acute lung injury.To identify novel risk factors that determine which COVID-19 patients are at highest risk (e.g., those needing ICU care or to be on a ventilator) or who develop cardiac injury, with a particular focus on baseline vascular abnormalities.For comparison of pre-clinical animal models for vaccine and therapeutic development and the basic immunology and virulence determinants underlying host-pathogen interactions.For high-throughput screening of repurposed FDA-approved drugs for their efficacy to prevent SARS-CoV2 entry by modifying endosomal pH and testing in preclinical hamster and ferret models of Covid-19 in collaboration with the Kozak and Falzarano labs.To develop anti-viral COVID-19 therapeutics based on direct targeting of the viral RNA genome using LNA anti-sense oligonucleotides.To support a randomized clinical trial to investigate whether vaccination with BCG is able to decrease the incidence and severity of COVID-19 infection in elderly individuals.For developing the COVID Collaboration Platform to bring disparate research teams working on the same clinical research questions together to share protocols, data, and evidence.

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