ANRS | Emerging Infectious DiseasesAn update on current projects
BE READY project kick-off meeting
On September 19, the BE READY project held its launch event in Paris. The project objective is to create a European Partnership for Pandemic Preparedness and consolidate a One Health approach through the European Research and Innovation Area, providing a coherent Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and other tools for member states to tackle future public health emergencies. By the end of this year, the consortium members will begin working on the European Partnership framework and a roadmap for the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for Pandemic Preparedness. BE READY is a ‘Coordination Support Action’ project.
Monkeypox outbreak monitoring
In response to the first cases of monkeypox in Europe, ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases, jointly with the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Health and Prevention, set up an emergency research program. An overview of all the actions taken since the beginning of the epidemic to coordinate and finance research on monkeypox with partners from the North and South is presented below:
- Project implementation and coordination: the agency is involved in the implementation of three international trials and cohorts (MOSAIC, MONKEYVAX, UNITY*)
- Call for projects (CFP): a flash research grant open to collaborations between French and LMIC research team was launched mid-June. Two further Agency CFPs are also keeping their scope open to research projects on monkeypox
- Scientific monitoring: a permanently updated monitor designed for researchers and national institutions that follows scientific literature, the epidemiological situation and national and international recommendations.
*What is the UNITY study?
A phase III, multi-country, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial to assess the efficacy and safety of tecovirimat antiviral treatment for patients with monkeypox virus disease is being implemented in Switzerland and Brazil. Additional countries and regions are expected to submit a protocol in the coming weeks. The PANTHER network’s aim is to sponsor this trial in Africa; a call for donations has been launched to facilitate rapid implementation of the trial in partnership with the Nigeria CDC.
Ebola outbreak crisis response
On September 29, shortly after Ugandan health authorities declared an outbreak of Ebola virus disease caused by Sudan virus (SUDV), the ANRS | Emerging Infectious Diseases Unit activated a crisis response and put the following actions in place:
- Scientific monitoring for researchers, physicians, and health institutions including general information on the disease, and scientific articles and news relevant to the current epidemic
- Coordination with Médecins Sans Frontières (a French NGO already present in the epidemic zone in Uganda) to discuss potential research themes
- Mobilization of an expert group on Ebola with representatives from government ministries, Santé publique France, Médecins Sans Frontières, in view of strengthening research on Ebola and viral hemorrhagic fevers.