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ERINHA Members – leading European high-containment facilities and world level experts – are highly involved both in diagnostics and research activities to tackle COVID-19 by developing and testing diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.
A number of national, European, and international funding organizations launched call to advance research in short timelines to address the current SARS CoV 2 pandemic with huge impact on public health, economy and society.
In order to speed up research into coronavirus, the European Commission announced a special call for projects dedicated to vaccine development with scientific projects prepared and submitted in a record time. Eighteen proposals have been prioritized with a funding of € 48.5 million. Additionally, an IMI call was opened in March 2020 and focused on therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections for a budget of at least € 45 million.
To date, no approved human COVID-19 therapeutics or vaccines exist. Accelerated research for therapy and vaccines will be critical in responding to the pandemic.
All ERINHA members are involved in diagnosis, research, and/or expertise providing activities. The ERINHA’s French national node’s experts are involved in the Scientific Council under REACTing (REsearch and ACTion targeting emerging infectious diseases), a French national network leading 20 scientific projects on the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Meanwhile, the ERINHA Portuguese node is mobilized in diagnostics activities and national research initiatives.
In parallel, the ERINHA Dutch and Swedish Nodes are involved in developing animal models to advance medical countermeasures development and testing. The ERINHA Hungarian node’s experts have recently isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus at their high-containment facility enabling to provide live and non-live samples to researchers worldwide.
ERINHA’s new Member – its Belgian Node, is heavily involved in drug and therapeutics testing against SARS-CoV-2 in partnership with industrial partners and Global non-profit organizations.
ERINHA has been approached by several industrial companies looking to use ERINHA Member expertise and capacities and is currently in negotiations with several biotechnology companies to provide services for antiviral therapeutic screening.
ERINHA has also coordinated participation of its facilities in the recent European IMI call dedicated to “Development of therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections”.