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In the BioRegion of Catalonia, researchers have been working against the clock since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many research centers have pivoted their research to search for ways to tackle this global healthcare crisis. In this context, the Catalan Ministry of Health, through its Department of Research and Innovation (DGRIS), launched an emergency call with collaboration from Biocat, geared towards healthcare research centers in the IRISCAT alliance (Health Research and Innovation Institutes of Catalonia). The call has earmarked €4 million for 19 research and innovation projects to prevent and treat the Covid-19 disease, chosen from the 42 proposals assessed by experts from the Catalan Ministry of Health and the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia (AQuAS), with external support from a dozen international advisers.

“We should highlight the proactiveness and flexibility of the Catalan research ecosystem, which has allowed IRISCAT centers to respond to the call in record time (the initial deadline for submitting proposals was just three days after the announcement), with projects of scientific excellence led in many cases by world-renowned researchers,” notes Biocat CEO Jordi Naval. Biocat, with DGRIS, will provide support and guidance for the 19 projects receiving funding, doing technical follow-up on the research and coordinating the resources available in the ecosystem, as well as clinical samples, research models and availability at facilities, among other issues.

Some of the selected projects are expected to make it to patients by the end of the year, giving healthcare professionals new tools to fight SARS-CoV-2, as scientific evidence is obtained. “The scientific excellence of the projects will allow them to be transferred from research to clinical practice in the short term to address this urgent situation as quickly as possible,” notes Robert Fabregat, director general for Research and Innovation in Health.

Soon, you’ll be able to learn all about each of these projects on the Biocat blog and social media, but for now here’s a quick rundown of these 19 solutions researchers are working on:



New therapies


Therapies based on antibodies and plasma

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