New research projects on Coronavirus
On 4 May the European Commission pledged to invest €1 billionfrom Horizon 2020 into research and innovation to fight coronavirus. This is on top of €4.1 billion invested from 2007 to 2019 through the 7th Framework Programme and Horizon 2020 to support and coordinate research on infectious diseases (e.g. Ebola, Zika).
The map below provides details of 18 projects selected for funding following the first emergency call under Horizon 2020 to boost urgently needed research into coronavirus and 23 projects selected for funding following the second request for expressions of interest.
The first call (March 2020) aimed to advance the understanding of the novel coronavirus epidemic, contribute to more efficient clinical management of patients infected with the virus, as well as public health preparedness and response, allowed 18 projects to be funded for a total of €48.2 million. The projects, which involve 151 research teams from across Europe and beyond, have started working on developing diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines, as well as improving preparedness and response.
The second call (August 2020) supported innovative and rapid health-related approaches to respond to COVID-19 and to deliver quick results for society for a higher level of preparedness of health systems. This enabled 23 new projects to be funded for a total funding of €128.2 million. The 23 projects, which involve 344 research teams from 39 countries in Europe and beyond, will seek to adapt manufacturing for equipment to prevent and treat COVID-19, rapid diagnostics, to establish European cohorts and coordinate global efforts, and to better the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
A number of these projects are already delivering results
- HG nCoV19 test project developed a new portable diagnostic system to detect viral infection that gives accurate and reliable results in 30 minutes. On 20 May, they announced that they had fulfilled the necessary requirements to put it on the market.
- Prevent-nCoV project announced on 9 June, that their vaccine against COVID-19 shows promising results, having passed tests in mice. They hope to commence clinical trials before the end of the year.
- Exscalate4CoV project announced on 18 June, that an already registered generic drug used to treat osteoporosis, Raloxifene, could be an effective treatment for COVID-19 positive patients with mild or asymptomatic infection.