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In the midst of the current crisis, research has been put on hold while scientists are redeployed into areas critical for research on the current pandemic or, for those medically trained, assigned to the care of patients.
Across Europe, universities and labs are either shutting down research projects or scaling back, and medical schools are ending clinical trials not related to the coronavirus (biotechs such as Addex Therapeutics or GeNeuro delayed trial phases on diseases such as Parkisons or Multiple sclerosis). That is the case for KU Leuven in Belgium, ETH Zurich in Switzerland and even Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, which only allows a few scientists to continue research on the coronavirus while other labs are being shut down.
While most research is on hold, all the focus is now on the COVID-19 outbreak. As such, the European Research Council named winners for its latest regular round of frontier-research grants for senior scientists and although proposal were submitted prior to the outbreak, the agency did single out a researcher studying flu viruses in bats, coincidentally one of the possible animal sources of the new coronavirus.
Another research project also receives EUR 3 Million from the EU as it is pulling together a ‘drug box’ from compound libraries all across Europe with the objective of a rapid screening of the new virus. This computer-based screening system is designed to find new treatments for pandemic diseases.
The ‘Drug box’ is accessible here.
More information here.