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3 CIVIS member universities to receive EU grants for coronavirus research

24 March 2020
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On 30th January 2020, The European Commission launched a request for expressions of interest to advance research knowledge on tackling the spread of coronavirus. €47.5 million of funding in research grants was announced by the Commission. 17 Horizon 2020 research projects were shortlisted for funding involving 136 research teams from across the EU and beyond. 3 CIVIS member universities, Aix-Marseille université, Stockholm University and Tübingen University have been awarded grants for their projects. 

Aix-Marseille université
  • Swift COronavirus therapeutic REsponse project (SCORE)

Aix-Marseille université has been awarded a research grant for its SCORE project to develop antiviral therapy to fight coronaviruses. The project is being developed with six other European universities and institutions: Bern University, KU Leuven University, Leiden University Medical Center (lead partner), Utrecht University, Univerity of Lübeck,  Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and Janssen Pharmaceutica. The project aims at developing antiviral drugs that could be used to treat patients in the short and medium-term to limit the spread of coronaviruses.

  • Combating 2019-nCoV: Advanced Nanobiosensing platforms for POC global diagnostics and surveillance project (CoNVat)

Aix-Marseille Université received a second grant of €2.4million from the EU for its CoNVat project which aims at developing a platform for rapid diagnosis and monitoring of coronavirus through the conception of a new device based on nanotechnology that will allow fast detection of coronaviruses. This project involves the partnership of three other institutions: Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (lead partner), Italian National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the University of Barcelona.

  • Rapid interaction profiling of 2019-nCoV for network-based deep drug- repurpose learning (RiPCoN)

Through its health and research institute (INSERM, Marseille), Aix-Marseille Université is participating in the RiPCoN project which is led by the Institute of Network Biology (INET), in Neuherberg (Germany). The project will perform a computational study of the interactions between coronavirus and human cells, with the aim to identify drugs (already on the market or in trials)  that can halt the spread of the virus. 

Stockholm University
  • Fight-nCOV project 

Stockholm University received a grant of €2.8million to develop an antiviral treatment for the new Coronavirus. The project, under the name of Fight-nCoVis led by Anna-Lena Spetz, Professor of immunology at the Department of Molecular Biosciences a Wenner-Gren Institute (Stockholm University). This project involves research teams from Sweden, France, Germany and Denmark.

University of Tübingen

The University of Tübingen, member of the PREVENT-nCOV consortium has been awarded an EU grant of €2.7million for their COVID-19 vaccine development programme. The consortium aims to develop and test a vaccine for COVID-19 in PHI/IIa clinical studies within 12 months. The consortium members are AdaptVac (Lead partner of the project); Institute for Tropical Medicine (ITM) at University of Tübingen; Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center; Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen; ExpreS2ion Biotechnologies, and Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University.