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COVID-19 | Who has a solution to the pandemic?

The current global pandemic has affected us all and now more than ever we are looking at healthcare professionals and researchers for their unwavering support and guidance. In this respect, the European Commission and its Member States have made available funds to support research and expedite any interventions that will help curb the spread of coronavirus infections.

We have listed them for you and urge you to reach out should you need support in applying for funding.

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Innovative Medicine Initiative II

IMI2 JU -Call 21 Development of therapeutics and diagnostics combatting coronavirus infections

Call aim: Collaboration between public partners and private companies has potential to accelerate the development of therapeutics and diagnostics to tackle the current and future outbreaks.

The project must address one of the following:

  • Development of antivirals and other types of therapeutics to address a rapid response to the current COVID-19 outbreak Relevant “clinical ready”-assets e.g approved therapies or compounds in development. If repurposing proposed, need for preliminary rationale of the compound’s potential efficacy against COVID-19.
  • Development of therapeutics to address the current and/or future coronavirus outbreaks Identification of new potential assets and approaches including preventive strategies and combination approaches, addressing also potential resistance, optimisation of promising treatments used in rapid response (e.g. reformulation).
  • Development of diagnostics, ensuring rapid evaluation of candidates based on existing technologies. Essential for clinical trials of new or repurposed drugs, to help stratify patients and assess treatment efficiency (surrogate endpoint such as viral clearance).
  • Development of fast and reliable tools that go beyond the state of the art for detection of COVID-19 carriers and symptomatic individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection Essential to manage the outbreak, isolate patients at risk and treat people accordingly. Differentiation and identification of respiratory pathogens with similar clinical symptoms (e.g. flu, respiratory syncytial virus, other viruses or bacteria) and/or detection of emerging pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 crucial. This can be achieved through point-of-care (POC) testing or centralised testing.

Preventive vaccines are excluded from this call. To be eligible, a consortium should have at least three independent legal entities, each established in a different Member State or associated country.

Call deadline: 31 March 2020 – 17.00 GMT+1

Call budget: € 45,000,000

Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) Tender

The provision of a study within 18 months on:

  1. exploring the feasibility of and identifying options for physical stockpiling of vaccines; and
  2. developing a concept for a mechanism for exchanging vaccine supplies from one EU member state to another in case of an outbreak.

Tender specifics:

  • The contractor must map and analyse already established physical stockpiles operating on national and multilateral level in the European Union, as well as physical stockpiling systems operated by the World Health Organisation10 and UNICEF and GAVI.
  • At least three options for physical and/or virtual stockpiling of vaccines in the European Union must be identified, described, analysed and prioritised in terms of feasibility and effectiveness.
  • The contractor must develop a concept for a mechanism for exchanging vaccine supplies between Member States in case of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease or for routine operations.

Tender deadline: 6 April 2020 – 17.00, GMT+1

European Invesment Bank (EIB) InnovFin Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF)

Instrument aim: IDFF offers financial products ranging from standard debt to equity-type financing from EUR 7.5 million to EUR 75 million, to those actively developing innovative interventions including vaccines, drugs, medical and diagnostic devices or novel research infrastructures for combatting infectious diseases.

Instrument notes:

  • IDFF is open to SMEs, large pharmaceutical company, research institutions, universities, non-profit entities or special-purpose vehicles (SPV). Promoters, sponsors and/or operators must be willing to substantially co-fund the project.
  • Beneficiaries must be based in a European Member State or Associated Country. The work pertaining to the intervention (e.g. clinical trial sites) may be conducted globally.
  • Interventions need to have a significant public health impact and high degree of marketability
  • The product should have passed successfully through the pre-clinical stage or through the proof-of-concept stage (in the case of medical and diagnostic devices)
  • Funding can be invested in research infrastructure that provides facilities, resources and related services for research capacity building
  • Project costs may include clinical trial costs, set-up of commercialisation such as market access, development of prototypes or industrial roll-out of novel equipment, pre-clinical R&D costs and working capital requirement.

Instrument budget: min. € 7.5 million – max. € 75 million

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, set up by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard Impact Fund, will coordinate the R&D response to COVID-19. The aim will be to expedite the development and evaluation of new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term. The Accelerator will have an end-to-end focus, from drug pipeline development through manufacturing and scale-up. The focus now is on sharing research, coordinating investments and pooling resources in order to accelerate research.

Currently there are no broad-spectrum antivirals or immunotherapies available for the fight against emerging pathogens, and none approved for use on COVID-19. In this regard the Accelerator will start with the following:

  1. testing approved drugs for activity against COVID-19
  2. screening libraries of thousands of compounds with confirmed safety data
  3. review new investigational compounds and monoclonal antibodies to be developed by industry partners

Collaboration: The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will work with the World Health Organization, government and private sector funders and institutions, as well as the global regulatory and policy-setting institutions.

Budget: $ 125 million –  BMGF and Wellcome $ 50 million each; the Mastercard Impact Fund $ 25 million

The European Vaccine Infrastructure (EVI) TRANSVAC2 – Supporting the development of vaccines against COVID19

Support scope: researchers at SMEs, industry and public institutions working on COVID19 may apply to make use of the high-quality technical vaccine development services offered by TRANSVAC. This includes, but is not limited to: animal models,  adjuvant formulation , clinical trial support and regulatory support.
Cost: Most services will be free of charge

Support: Deadline: 15 April 2020

Potential funding from May 2020 onwards

Though time is of the essence, the EIC Accelerator Pilot (SME instrument) deadline was 18 March 2020 – despite the European Commission only publishing the call to SMEs and start-ups to the apply with novel ideas around COVID-19 on 13 March (read more). Neverthless, the next cut off date for the EIC Accelerator Pilot is 19 May 2020 and it is anticipated that this will also continue to be open to interventions to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Wellcome Trust Epidemic Preparedness: COVID-19 funding call is currently no longer accepting expressions of interest; however, this may change in the coming weeks as the initial review of the projects has been completed.

Stay up to date with the latest news 

Hezelburcht is actively tracking all these developments to ensure we have timely first-hand information. We will continue to update this page as more information on potential funding streams becomes available. In case of any questions – please feel free to contact our European Affairs Manager: Hager Bassyouni.

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Or call us directly: 088 495 20 00

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