How the EU is supporting research against and during the pandemic

The European Union and European Commission are implementing a wide set of actions to support the research efforts needed to setup pandemic response measures.

The COVID-19 crisis is reshaping a whole set of current biomedical research areas. Many questions arise with no or incomplete answer. This is also the case in the field of autoinflammatory disorders. New knowledge needs to be generated for example to assess the potential over-risk encountered by SAID populations (such as developing a severe form) or the virus ability to trigger autoinflammatory disorders such as the observed Kawasaki-like cases in the paediatric population.

A number of EU measured are being implemented to support the general effort against the pandemic and boost the research effort:

  • On 30 January 2020, the European Commission launched a request for expressions of interest that led to the selection of 18 projects for a total of €48.2 million. The selected projects involve 151 research teams from across the EU and beyond and will work on improving epidemiology and public health or developing rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests, new treatments and vaccines.
  • On 4 May the European Union joined forces with global partners to kick-start the Coronavirus Global Response, a worldwide pledging effort to raise €7.5 billion of funding to rapidly develop and deploy universally available and affordable diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the coronavirus. 
  • The European Commission together with several partners launched a European COVID-19 Data Platform to enable the rapid collection and sharing of available research data. The new platform will provide an open, trusted, and scalable European and global environment where researchers can store and share datasets, such as DNA sequences, protein structures, data from pre-clinical research and clinical trials, as well as epidemiological data.
  • On the clinical research side, the European Commission published an official Guidance on The Management of Clinical Trials During COVID-19 Pandemic. This guidance aims to ensure that clinical trials can continue to take place in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Commission is also launching European Commission launched the “COVID-19 Clinical Management Support System” with the aim to support clinicians in hospitals that are currently facing the coronavirus emergency all over Europe.

We all hope this swift response will help Europe to strengthen its capability to handle the follow-up effect of the pandemic and get prepared for the next one.