28/06/2021 15h59


A study by Univates, University of Lajeado (RS), could contribute to the development of drugs to treat Covid-19

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Research supported by BRF and coordinated by the Universidade do Vale do Taquari - Univates in Lajeado (RS) has been published in the journal Scientific Reports, an international scientific journal, part of the Nature group. The work by the Universidade do Vale do Taquari received a donation of BRL 100,000 from BRF and identifies mutations in the SARS-CoV virus, in an effort to identify mechanisms for the development of drugs to treat Covid-19.

Led by Professor Luis Fernando Saraiva Macedo Timmers, the study analyzed 627 genetic sequencing of samples of SARS-CoV-2 collected in Brazil and identified 109 mutations in the virus that causes Covid-19. The study gives researchers the conditions to evaluate mechanisms of viral evolution, that is, which proteins are undergoing mutations and in which they are more prevalent. “We may have indications of how the virus is adapting to the environment,” explains Timmers.

The research is an overview of the mutations that have occurred in Brazil and, by now being available to the international scientific community, contributes to the adoption of different possible approaches in the field of drug development for the treatment of Covid-19. In addition to Univates, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Ufrgs), the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA), the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel), the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) and the University of Tübingen (Germany) participated in the research.

Other Univates surveys with support from BRF

This is not the only Univates project under development that uses resources donated by BRF. 

Faster and cheaper diagnosis – In a project under the title Detection of Corona Virus-2 Respiratory Syndrome Virus by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Professor Daiane Heidrich, PhD in Medicine, is seeking a faster and cheaper test, with less environmental impact, to detect the virus through saliva, rather than secretion collected from the nose and throat as used by RT-PCR. The objective is to develop an alternative technology that can be used by the population of Vale do Taquari, through the support and interest of municipal health networks, and even outside the region where Univates is located.

Ozone for disinfection and sanitization - The Director of Innovation and Sustainability of Univates, Professor Simone Stülp, PhD in Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, is coordinating a project, together with Alvap, a startup located at Tecnovates, which is investigating the adoption of ozone for disinfection and sanitization. Alvap's handling of ozone is used for fruit cleaning and water purification, especially in industry and agriculture. Professor Simone Stülp points out that BRF's investment for Tecnovates is an approximation with BRF's Innovation Hub, connected with the priority areas of the Technology Park, and welcome in an area of extreme need at this time of sanitary emergency. BrfHub is BRF's open innovation arm, which seeks to connect the company daily with new studies and technologies.

Donations in the fight against Covid

The donation to Univates is part of the BRL 50 million announced by BRF in April 2020, used in food distribution, medical supplies and support for research and social development funds, to contribute to efforts to combat the effects of the pandemic. The initiative reaches hospitals, social assistance organizations and health professionals in the states and municipalities in which the company operates. Among those included, in addition to Univates, are Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), in Rio de Janeiro, Instituto Butantan and Hospital das Clínicas, in São Paulo. 

In March this year, BRF announced the donation of more than BRL 50 million, which includes shares in 15 Brazilian states and in countries where BRF has production units, distribution centers and corporate offices.

Donations and other actions by BRF in the fight against Coronavirus can be accompanied on the website


About BRF

One of the largest food companies in the world, BRF is present in more than 117 countries and owns iconic brands such as Sadia, Perdigão and Qualy. Its purpose is to offer quality food that is increasingly tasty and practical, to people all over the world, through the sustainable management of a living, long and complex chain, which provides a better life for everyone, from the countryside to the table Based on fundamental commitments to safety, quality and integrity, the Company bases its strategy on a long-term vision and aims to generate value for its more than 100,000 employees worldwide, more than 350,000 clients and approximately 10,000 members in Brazil, all of its shareholders, and for society.