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The French national infrastructure IDMIT (CEA-Jacob) is participating in the Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe (CARE) consortium, which counts 37 public or private organizations brought together to speed the development of treatments for COVID-19 and future coronavirus epidemics. This alliance of expertise will enable the
in vitro identification of disease markers and therapeutic compounds for preclinical and clinical trials.
The CARE (Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe)
program is a public-private consortium uniting academia, research centers
(including the CEA), SMEs, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries
and Associations (EFPIA)1, member businesses and the associated
partners of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)2. In all, it
counts 37 partner organizations from Europe, China and the United States who
are uniting their expertise, skills and know-how in an ambitious five-year plan
to speed the development of treatments for COVID-19 and future coronavirus
CARE is financed by IMI, EFPIA and the European Union,
and headed by Inserm and the Vaccine Research Institute (VRI)3,4. Dr
Roger Le Grand (IDMIT / CEA-Jacob) will sit on the scientific committee, to
which he brings his expertise in preclinical models.
CARE is focused on
three main issues:
drug repositioning, by screening and profiling
compound libraries contributed by partner teams;
small-molecule drug discovery based on in silico
screening and profiling of candidate compounds directed against SARS-CoV-2 and
future coronavirus targets;
discovery of virus-neutralizing antibodies using
molecular biology techniques, immunization of humanized animal models, use of
patient cells and in silico design.
Compounds of interest will be enhanced in
pharmaceutical chemistry and their activity evaluated in in vitro and
animal models. The most promising drug candidates will be tested in large
clinical trials. Viral pathophysiology will also be a subject of study to
better grasp the human immune response at various stages of viral infection.
will focus on identifying disease markers to give direction to the development
of novel therapies and improve the conception of clinical trials for
1 About the European Federation of
Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)
EFPIA represents the
European pharmaceutical industry via the direct membership of 36 national
associations and 39 pharmaceutical companies. EFPIA's principal
missions are to promote pharmaceutical R&D in Europe and contribute to an
economic, regulatory and political environment wherein the increasing needs and
expectations of patients can be met.
EFPIA is also
committed to a growing effort for the establishment of deontological rules for
relations between the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare providers and patient
To learn more about
2 About the Innovative Medicines Initiative
IMI is Europe's
largest public-private consortium. It aims to accelerate the development of
more effective and safer medicines for patients. IMI supports collaborative research
projects and activates networks of academic and industrial experts to stimulate
pharmaceutical innovation in Europe. IMI is a shared initiative of the EFPIA
and the European Union.
To learn more about IMI: https://www.imi.europa.eu/
3 About the Vaccine Research Institute (VRI)
The VRI is a
Laboratory of Excellence established by the French National Agency for Research
on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis and the University of Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC). Its
purpose is to conduct research aimed at speeding the developing of innovative
vaccines against HIV/AIDS, and (re)-emerging infectious diseases. The VRI is
structured to strengthen ties between basic and translational research, patient
associations and socio-economic instances. The VRI is both a network of
internationally renowned scientists and research teams with multidisciplinary
expertise in systems biology and clinical immunology, and a network of shared
clinical centers, platforms and facilities.
To learn more about the VRI: https://vaccine-research-institute.fr/
4 The VRI-Inserm partnership in the CARE
coordinates the CARE project. The partnership will monitor immunological,
inflammatory and genomic (transcriptomic) profiles of patients with COVID-19
and participate in CARE clinical trials.
Download the press release from the VRI website.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.