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18/03/2020

European Commission's Coronavirus response and research actions


Coronavirus response

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response_en

"The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19. We are taking resolute action to reinforce our public health sectors and mitigate the socio-economic impact in the European Union. We are mobilising all means at our disposal to help our Member States coordinate their national responses and are providing objective information about the spread of the virus and effective efforts to contain it. "

You may check a wide range of information about the response taken by the EC on the link above.

European Commission research actions on Coronavirus (Coronavirus factsheet)

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/info/files/european-commission-research-actions-coronavirus_en

On 30 January 2020, the European Commission launched a request for expressions of interest entitled “SC1- PHE-CORONAVIRUS-2020: Advancing knowledge for the clinical and public health response to the [COVID-19] 1 epidemic”, with a budget of €10 million, which was subsequently increased to €47.5 million given the scale of the outbreak and the potential of the research projects submitted.

Seventeen research projects were shortlisted for funding. These projects are expected to advance our understanding of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), contribute to more efficient clinical management of patients infected with the virus, and to the public health preparedness and response to the outbreak. Research teams are expected to share data rapidly so that results can immediately inform the public health response.

Such rapid reaction is made possible by the standing budget line for emergency research funds that the Commission maintains as part of the Horizon 2020 annual work programmes for Health research.

45 million euros IMI call to tackle coronavirus' diagnostics 

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) launches 45 million euros Call on coronavirus entitled Development of therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections. It is a fast-track, single stage Call for proposals. 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 antivirals as well as other types of therapeutics to address a rapid response to the current COVID-19 outbreak;
  • development of therapeutics to address the current and/or future coronavirus outbreaks;
  • development of diagnostics, ensuring rapid evaluation of candidates based on existing technologies;
  • development of fast and reliable tools that go beyond the state of the art for detection of COVID-19 carriers and symptomatic individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection.

Preventive vaccines are specifically excluded from the scope of the Call.

IMI is a jointly funded partnership between the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

The call is open to international participation following Horizon 2020 eligibility rules. Brazilian institutions interested in being associated to the call are invited by CONFAP to show interest. More here.

Deadline: 31 March 2020

Find IMI call here

Coronavirus: Commission offers financing to innovative vaccines company CureVac

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_474

The Commission offered up to €80 million of financial support to CureVac, a higly innovative vaccine developer from Tübingen, Germany, to scale up development and production of a vaccine against the Coronavirus in Europe. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, discussed with the CureVac management via videoconference. The Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Ambroise Fayolle, also participated. The support would come in form of an EU guarantee of a currently assessed EIB loan of an identical amount, in the framework of the InnovFin Infectious Disease Finance Facility under Horizon 2020.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “In this public health crisis it is of utmost importance that we support our leading researchers and tech companies. We are determined to provide CureVac with the financing it needs to quickly scale up development and production of a vaccine against the Coronavirus. I am proud that we have leading companies like CureVac in the EU. Their home is here. But their vaccines will benefit everyone, in Europe and beyond.”

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Supporting excellent EU research and innovation is an essential part of our coordinated response against the spread of the Coronavirus. In 2014, CureVac won EU's first ever innovation inducement prize. We are committed to support further its EU-based research and innovation in these critical times. Science and innovation in Europe are at the heart of our policies for protecting people's health.”