The Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe (CARE) consortium today announced its launch to accelerate the development of COVID-19 treatments.
Supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, the new consortium has collected $92.7 million (€77.7 million) in grant funding in an effort to conduct a 5-year project, bringing together 37 partners from Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S.
Leading the initiative is VRI-Inserm, Johnson & Johnson‘s (NYSE:JNJ) Janssen Pharmaceutical and Takeda Pharmaceutical (TSE:4502;NYSE:TAK) as the companies integrate partners’ COVID-19 projects that have been ongoing since February.
CARE aims to combine the researchers to accelerate the discovery and development of solutions for the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as future coronavirus outbreaks, with the most promising drug candidates set to advance to clinical trials in humans after testing in the laboratory, according to a news release.
The consortium centers around drug repositioning, small-molecule drug discovery and virus-neutralizing antibody discovery while investigating the viral pathology of the virus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the largest global health threat to humanity in this century, requiring the global scientific community to join forces in unprecedented ways,” VRI-Inserm executive director and CARE coordinator Yves Lévy said in the release. “We are very grateful for the financial support provided by the Innovative Medicine Initiative that will enable us to implement this plan.”
“We are very excited to launch the CARE consortium and collaborate with other leading experts to urgently identify new medicines against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses that may have the potential to cause epidemics,” added Marnix Van Loock, Janssen Pharmaceutical senior scientific director & R&D lead of emerging pathogens & CARE project leader. “As part of this initiative, we look forward to applying learnings from an ongoing collaboration on COVID-19 with the Rega Institute for Medical Research, part of KU Leuven, to screen a drug-repurposing library of thousands of existing drug compounds.”
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