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Biocat, with the Department of Research and Innovation (DGRIS), will be providing support and guidance for the 19 projects selected in the emergency call promoted by the Catalan Ministry of Health to speed development of new solutions for preventing and treating Covid-19. Biocat will provide technical support for the projects and coordinate the resources available in the ecosystem, as well as clinical samples, research models and availability at facilities, among other issues.

This call, promoted by DGRIS with collaboration from Biocat and the Agency for Health Quality and Assessment of Catalonia (AQuAS), was geared towards researchers at IRISCAT centers (Health Research and Innovation Institutes of Catalonia) and is a commitment to innovation and research in the BioRegion of Catalonia to fight SARS-CoV-2.

“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.

AQuAS experts, with external support from a dozen international advisers, selected 19 of the 42 proposals submitted. The projects that will receive funding include COVID-19 therapies (new, antibody and plasma therapies, clinical trials with new combinations and uses of medicines already on the market, and clinical trials with drugs being researched for other indications); vaccines and preventive treatments; genetic and predictive studies (identifying virulence factors and prognostic biomarkers, and projects to study population immune response and predict complications).

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 projects that will receive funding are led by research teams at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO); AIDS Research Institute (IrsiCaixa), Research Institute of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (IR Sant Pau), August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), Hospital del Mar Research Institute (IMIM), Foundation University Institute for Primary Health Care Research Jordi Gol i Gurina (IDIAPJGol), Pere Virgili Institute (IISPV) and Biomedical Research Institute of Lleida (IRBLleida).

More information on the projects on the Biocat blog.


Image Credits: Francisco Àvia, Hospital Clínic

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