Development of therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections

16th March 2020

Specific Challenge: Deadline: 31st of March 2020

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been declared by WHO as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern according to the International Health Regulation.

It is crucial to rapidly gain a better understanding of the newly identified virus, especially in relation to potential clinical and public health measures that can be put to immediate use to improve patients’ health and/or contain the spread of COVID-19.

Collaboration of private companies, academia, international organisations, public bodies etc. has the potential to accelerate the development of therapeutics and diagnostics to tackle this current and future outbreaks. The actions resulting from this call will contribute to the pan-European efforts responding to this Public Health Emergency.Scope:

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. This may also include optimisation of promising treatments used in rapid response (e.g. reformulation).
  • 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.

Please note that preventive vaccines are specifically excluded from the scope of the call.Expected Impact:

Proposals must be timely, with rapid activation, to enable early and valuable outcomes to be established and should contribute to one or more of the following impacts:

  • Fast track development and availability of therapeutics and/or diagnostics to be used in the clinical management of patients infected by COVID-19 and/or future outbreaks of coronaviruses, and to ensure that a variety of drugs are available for patients, including tackling resistance, and combination therapy.
  • Contribution to the public health preparedness and response in the context of the ongoing epidemic of COVID-19 and/or future outbreaks of pan-coronaviruses.
  • Significant impact on global health, both at the individual and the public health level by leading to results that have a direct impact for persons at risk of exposure to coronavirus or for patients suffering from coronavirus disease.

Maximisation of the IMI2 JU public-private partnership value by harnessing support from different stakeholders, including the mobilisation of resources through the inclusion of contributing partners (EFPIA companies or organisations associated to EFPIA, and Associated Partners to IMI2 JU) providing contributions (in kind and/or financial), to reflect the public-private character of IMI2 JU actions.

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