The European Commission funds through Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme, up to €45 million of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) fast track call for research proposals in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Proposals submitted under this topic are expected to advance the knowledge specifically on COVID-19 and more widely on the coronavirus family with the aim of contributing to an efficient patient management and/or public health preparedness and response to current and future outbreaks of coronavirus infection.
Considering that this is a newly identified virus, the scope of this topic remains broad and must address at least one of the following objectives:
- Development of therapeutics to address a rapid response towards the current COVID-19 outbreak: relevant “clinical ready”-assets include approved therapies or compounds in development, which could be repurposed for use in treating patients with the coronavirus.
- Development of therapeutics to address the current and/or future coronaviruses outbreaks: identification of new potential assets and approaches that could be utilised including preventive strategies and combination approaches and could also address potential resistance.
- Development of diagnostics, ensuring rapid evaluation of candidates based on existing technologies, to allow for fast case detection and surveillance.
- Development of fast and reliable detection of COVID-19 carriers and symptomatic individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection. This can be achieved through point of care (POC) testing or centralised testing.
In the coming weeks, the selected projects will start their work to advance the knowledge on COVID-19 and its impact on infected people, with the aim of contributing to an efficient patient management and/or public health preparedness and response.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
I welcome the rapid response of IMI to the coronavirus outbreak. This collaboration between the public and the private sectors brings their expertise and resources together in our fight against the coronavirus outbreak. This will help speed up the development of treatments and diagnostics in face of this global emergency and increase our preparedness for future outbreaks.