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H-E-B makes donation to local researchers tackling coronavirus

Late Monday, H-E-B announced it will give $3 million to organizations working to stop the spread of coronavirus. $300,000 will go to Texas Biomed.

SAN ANTONIO — Local researchers on the front-lines are developing a vaccine for the coronavirus. The Texas Biomedical Research Institute got a major boost from H-E-B on Monday.

Lisa Cruz with Texas Biomed said researchers are tackling major projects to combat coronavirus.

"We want to understand the virus," she said. "The basic science allows us to understand how the virus infects, how it replicates, how it makes us sick. These are all answers we don't know."

Late Monday, H-E-B announced it will give $3 million to organizations working to stop the spread of coronavirus. $300,000 will go to Texas Biomed.

"Science is expensive," she said. "So, it will cost a couple of million dollars to complete. But, this helps get us a long way."

For weeks now, scientists have been on this project. They're studying to find the right animal model.

"What we are talking about is finding the right animal that mimics the disease the way humans do," Cruz said. "The reason you need an animal model is eventually, therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics all have to be tested for safety and whether or not they are effective--to whether or not they actually work. They have to be tested in an animal model, before they move on to humans."

They hope to complete the study in four-to-six weeks.

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