Civic Leadership Citadel Accelerates COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Initiatives to Enhance Community Resilience Across the Nation

Citadel Accelerates COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Initiatives to Enhance Community Resilience Across the Nation

April 06, 2020

The Partners of Citadel and Citadel Securities today announced $5 million of support to advance scientific relief initiatives at four New York City medical institutions at the forefront of New York’s COVID-19 response. The work will accelerate and scale cutting-edge solutions through the development of sophisticated testing, treatment and prevention capabilities. These initiatives represent the top scientific priorities for these leading medical institutions and have the potential to transform the local and national response to this pandemic, ultimately saving lives and positioning individuals to safely return to society and the workplace. This is particularly essential to enable healthcare workers to engage on the frontlines throughout the duration of the crisis.

The initiatives receiving this support include:

  • Mount Sinai Health System to scale a testing initiative to identify people with COVID-19 immunity and enable previously affected healthcare workers to redeploy
  • NYU Langone Health to assess immunity, enhance safety and triage staffing for the NYC workforce
  • The Rockefeller University to develop and use immune therapies to prevent infection in frontline healthcare workers and help stop disease progression in the critically ill
  • Weill Cornell Medicine to develop a rapid-response testing program with the goal of nationally scaling testing capabilities to 100,000 people per day with a target of 500,000 tests per day
  • Weill Cornell Medicine to determine the efficacy of prophylactic drugs, focusing first on preventing infection in frontline healthcare workers

“The fortitude and compassion of our frontline responders is heroic. Doctors, nurses and countless others continue to relentlessly battle the virus and selflessly care for the sick, while our nation’s researchers pursue the science needed to ultimately lead us out of this pandemic,” said Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel. “Collaboration and philanthropic support are essential to accelerate medical solutions and will be the difference in protecting as many lives as possible.”

Fast Facts On Initiatives Supported

Protect the frontlines through immunity-identifying serology efforts to inform safer redeployment of healthcare workers and others in New York and across the nation

  • Mount Sinai Health System initiative to test and scale a serology effort to identify people with immunity to COVID-19. This work is especially critical for understanding immunity among healthcare workers to more safely redeploy them at the frontline of the COVID-19 response. It is also used to identify people with antibodies that can be used to prevent infection in frontline healthcare workers and stop progression in the critically ill. Mount Sinai has already sent supplies and protocol guides to 150 hospitals across the country to help others launch these efforts. Learn about opportunities to support Mount Sinai’s COVID-19 response.

“This pioneering serology and convalescent plasma program will allow us to further scale our efforts to help us save lives and is a potential game changer to help us turn the page on the virus,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System.

  • NYU Langone Health serology trial to understand the scope of prior infection and immunity starting with 1,000 New Yorkers, which will be critical for enabling Americans to return to work safely and quickly. This project will focus on developing a highly sensitive and high-throughput platform of finger-stick like blood tests to accurately test the broadest spectrum of COVID-19 patients. This work will also be informative to accelerate diagnostics, develop and test promising treatments for patients, and advance efforts toward a vaccine. Learn about opportunities to support NYU Langone Health.

“Understanding the systemic effects of the virus will take time. We are in the epicenter of the outbreak right now, and being able to identify those with immunity will have immediate and significant impact,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Health.

Harness patient immunity to prevent infection and treat the most critically ill

  • The Rockefeller University project to develop and test the efficacy of plasma and antibodies taken from recovered COVID-19 patients to stop disease progression in the critically ill and prevent infection in people at high risk, such as frontline healthcare workers who have frequent exposure. Rockefeller scientists will apply technologies they have pioneered to provide a permanent resource that can treat and prevent infection. This funding supports the establishment of a robust infrastructure in NYC to screen and recruit patients, collect plasma and immune cells, and test the efficacy of immune therapies, in partnership with the New York Blood Center and other leading New York institutions. Learn about opportunities to support COVID-19 research at Rockefeller University or participate in this life-saving study.

“Teams of scientists and clinicians at Rockefeller have come together rapidly to develop use of plasma and specific virus-neutralizing antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID-19,” says Richard P. Lifton, president of The Rockefeller University. “The immune therapies have the potential to treat ill and vulnerable patients and protect healthcare workers who are fighting the pandemic on the front lines.”

Scale rapid testing around the nation to test hundreds of thousands of people per day

  • Weill Cornell Medicine initiative to develop a rapid-response test and support a mega-lab with the goal of processing 100,000 tests per day and ultimately scaling to 500,000 tests each day. Weill Cornell Medicine’s work on this project, in a public-private partnership with Color, Broad Institute and other leading institutions and industry, will seek to rapidly expand testing capabilities nationwide. This effort has the potential to materially increase the national testing capacity.

Test promising prophylactic drug to prevent infection

  • Weill Cornell Medicine effort to lead a future national randomized clinical trial of the preventative effects of Hydroxychloroquine, a medication which has been identified as potentially effective against COVID-19. The trial will focus on 15,000 frontline healthcare workers—who are most at risk for contracting the virus—over the course of six weeks. Learn about opportunities to support Weill Cornell Medicine’s COVID-19 response.

“This generous gift will enable us to develop vital new approaches to protect our committed frontline healthcare workers and patients from contracting the disease. It will also power the creation of a rapid test to diagnose COVID-19, which is particularly important in the fight against this pandemic,” said Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine.

The partners of Citadel and Citadel Securities have deployed a multifaceted COVID-19 philanthropic program across the spectrum of relief initiatives from PPE and humanitarian aid, to supporting funding gaps to help those most affected, and accelerating scientific initiatives. The relief efforts began in mid-January and with this announcement they have provided over $16 million, including to:

  • Provide humanitarian aid and physical supplies in Wuhan, China
  • Support the U.S. State Department’s COVID-19 relief efforts that delivered over 17 tons of aid to and repatriated over 800 Americans from Wuhan, China
  • Fund vaccine development through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
  • Establish temporary food distribution sites at 500 Chicago Public Schools making food available for 355,000 students and their families
  • Support Chicago’s emergency food distribution plan by providing an additional 4.5 million meals for the food insecure population
  • Provide personal protective equipment and supplies for first responders in Chicago
  • Partner with the New York Community Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies and others to establish a $75 million fund to support NYC nonprofit organizations