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Launch of Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe: IDMIT steps up to the plate

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.

Published on 27 August 2020

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 epidemics.

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.

Furthermore, CARE will focus on identifying disease markers to give direction to the development of novel therapies and improve the conception of clinical trials for them. 

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 associations.

To learn more about EFPIA: 


2     About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)

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:


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:


4     The VRI-Inserm partnership in the CARE project

VRI-Inserm 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.

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