Two grants will be awarded without call for proposals in line with specific provisions of the Financial Regulation 2018/1046, Article 189.1 and Article 195 (b) and (f).
An estimated budget of EUR 3.5 million will be allocated to a grant coordinated by the European Blood Alliance to coordinate numerous initiatives in the Member States that are collecting convalescent plasma for putative COVID-19 treatment purposes. The use of convalescent plasma is an experimental therapy that in the absence of short-term treatment alternatives is worthwhile to test for its safety and efficacy. In the longer term, convalescent plasma might be valuable as the starting material for large-scale manufacturing of immune-globulins. In order to obtain conclusive results from the different initiatives, it is key to strengthen coordination to ensure that data are collected in a harmonised manner, and that the generated data can be pooled and analysed together.
An estimated budget of EUR 15 million will be allocated to a grant coordinated by INSERM to support the implementation of the DisCoVery trial that aims to investigate several treatment options for COVID-19 patients. The trial has started in France on 22 March and is led by INSERM. This trial should be rolled-out in other countries to ensure that it develops into a large-scale and multi-centric European clinical trial. Hospitals throughout Europe need strong support to rapidly get ready to become a research site that can include patients in the same trial, using the same protocol and contributing to a common strong evidence base.