Coronavirus research: Commission selects 18th project to develop rapid diagnostics

The Commission has decided to fund another project as part of its emergency call for urgently needed research and innovation into the coronavirus. This brings the number of supported projects up to 18 from the 17 originally announced, with a total budget of €48,5 million from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. These projects enable 140 research teams from across Europe working together to address the coronavirus pandemic. The newly selected project, called HG nCoV19 test and coordinated by an Irish company, will develop and validate a rapid molecular diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Front-line health workers need to diagnose coronavirus more quickly and more accurately. This reduces the risk of further spread of the virus. I am happy that we can add another project to the EU-funded effort to develop rapid diagnostics.” The 18 selected projects are swiftly starting to work on developing rapid diagnostics, treatments and vaccines as well as understanding the behaviour of the epidemic through epidemiology and modelling. Over the past weeks, the EU has also mobilised public and private funding of up to €90 million through the Innovative Medicines Initiative, and has offered up to €80 million of financial support to the innovative company CureVac to scale up development and production of a vaccine against the coronavirus. The Commission’s concrete support to urgently needed research and innovation is part of the common European response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Several additional EU-funded research projects and initiatives are working on countering the spread of the disease and enhancing preparedness for other outbreaks. More information is available here.