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Research and innovation
News article23 May 2022Directorate-General for Research and Innovation3 min read

Commission presents a Therapeutics Innovation Booster to identify and support new treatments for COVID-19

Delivering on a key action from the EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics, the Commission has published today the COVID-19 Therapeutics Innovation Booster. The guidance provided in this report is based on independent scientific advice, and focuses on facilitating the development of COVID-19 treatments that address the needs of patients as these evolve during the pandemic.

Vaccination against COVID-19 has been shown to offer the best preventive protection against infection, severe disease, and loss of life and long-term consequences of illness. However, in addition to vaccination, there is a clear need to ensure that COVID-19 treatments are available to treat those who are infected.

The Therapeutics Innovation Booster aims to facilitate the identification of promising research projects and technologies in different stages of development, to best focus efforts and provide guidance to researchers and innovators, in order to accelerate innovation. It therefore provides an essential element in our efforts to bring safe and effective treatments to patients across the EU as fast as possible. Even now when we are transitioning towards the next phase of COVID-19 this remains a high priority.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

The European Union has been taking decisive action with its researchers and innovators to develop vaccines and treatments to protect our citizens. The Therapeutic Innovation Booster supports our continuous search for new therapies by scanning the research landscape and decreasing the gap between early-stage research and clinical use.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said:

Therapeutics is an important part of our response to COVID-19. They save lives, they limit the need for hospitalisation, speed up recovery times and reduce overall symptoms. With our Therapeutics Strategy, we are building a portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 treatments addressing all stages of the disease, including the development of medicines focusing on long COVID. Research and innovation is crucial to close the knowledge gap and develop treatments that deliver for our citizens and the Therapeutics Innovation Booster, working closely with HERA, will be key for this.

The EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics is modelled on the successful EU Vaccines Strategy and covers the full lifecycle of medicines from research to final use. To supports the strategy’s actions on research, development, innovation as well as the scanning for promising candidate therapeutics, a group of independent scientific experts was established. These experts were tasked to identify the most promising therapeutic candidates in late stage development, and to design the Therapeutic Innovation Booster.

The screening of 82 therapeutic candidates in late stage clinical development has already led to the identification of 10 candidates as the most promising for the EU portfolio of COVID-19 treatments.

The Therapeutics Innovation Booster now adds to this by focussing on earlier stages of development. This report sets out the clinical needs, provides guidance and lists resources such as information sources and clinical trial initiatives. In addition, it provides selection criteria for the most promising and credible medicinal products and details options for horizon scanning to identify the most promising products.

Next steps

As announced in the Therapeutics Strategy, The Therapeutic Innovation Booster will feed into the activities of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) that will set up an interactive mapping platform for promising therapeutics. A call for tender to design the platform has been launched and the results are expected to be published in the next months.


The EU strategy on COVID-19 therapeutics complements the EU Vaccines Strategy, which remains the EU's primary tool for ending the pandemic by preventing and reducing transmission of cases, as well as hospitalisation rates and deaths caused by the disease.

The Therapeutics Strategy aims to build a broad portfolio of COVID-19 therapeutics. It covers the full lifecycle of medicines from research, development, selection of promising candidates, fast regulatory approval, manufacturing and deployment to final use.

The Strategy forms part of a strong European Health Union, using a coordinated EU approach to better protect the health of our citizens, equip the EU and its Member States to better prevent and address future pandemics, and improve resilience of Europe's health systems.

More information

Report of the COVID-19 therapeutics sub-group

Covid-19 therapeutics portfolio – list of ten most promising candidates

European Commission's coronavirus response: therapeutics

European Medicines Agency – COVID-19 therapeutics

Feasibility study, Design and Prototype Development for a Mapping Platform on COVID-19 Therapeutics in the EU


Publication date
23 May 2022
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation