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IDMIT on point against COVID-19

With the support of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, 20 scientific initiatives were selected by REACTing's scientific board and presented at a press conference on 11 March. Among them, IDMIT is piloting a fundamental research project on the evolution of Covid-19 in a specific pre-clinical study model.

Published on 13 March 2020

As the the Sars-CoV2 coronavirus epidemic continues to spread, the Alliance for Life Sciences and Health (Aviesan) is mobilizing to accelerate research on the virus and on the disease COVID-19, through the action of the REACTing consortium, coordinated by Inserm. With the support of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, 20 scientific initiatives have been selected by the REACTing scientific council. They cover themes as diverse as epidemic modelling, treatment research and prevention.

Aviesan is made up of 9 key academic players, founding members of Aviesan: CEA, CNRS, INRAE, INRAE, Inria, Inserm, Pasteur Institute, IRD, CPU and the Conference of Regional and University Hospital CEOs. The REACTing consortium is coordinated by Inserm.

Following a call for applications from all French research teams, the scientific council of REACTing, a genuine research accelerator consortium, selected 20 projects from various scientific disciplines. These were chosen for their exhaustive and effective contribution to the production of knowledge and for their contribution to the fight against this new epidemic.

These projects fall within the following four main scientific themes: human and social sciences; diagnostic, clinical and therapeutic research; epidemiological research and basic research with a translational focus.

Three basic research projects have been selected, in particular to better understand the context of virus replication in vitro.

IDMIT, (François Jacob Institute of Biology), is leading one of these three projects. Its missions will be to study the evolution of infection by the new virus in a primate animal model to monitor the progression of the disease, test prophylactic treatments with drugs already on the market or in the process of being marketed, and develop new vaccines before their implementation in humans.

Thanks to its experience and research on infectious diseases such as influenza, measles, chikungunya, etc., IDMIT has the expertise in virology and immunology, as well as the necessary facilities (A3 primate animal rooms with an area dedicated to aerosol-transmitted pathogens) to carry out these studies. IDMIT is part of a group of experts mandated at the global level by the WHO (World Health Organization).

The coronavirus strains used for the assessments are provided by the Pasteur Institute (Paris), National Reference Centre for Respiratory Infection Viruses.

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