To begin, Ecraid’s Executive Director and CEO Herman Goossens outlined Ecraid’s beginnings, its governance and highlighted Ecraid’s vision, which is to efficiently generate rigorous evidence for new or improved diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infections along with the ability to respond to infectious disease threats effectively.
Marc Bonten, Scientific Director/CSO, followed with a focus on Ecraid’s studies and how both COMBACTE and PREPARE laid the foundation for Ecraid to become a pan-European clinical research network.
In the next session, we heard from Christopher Butler (PRUDENCE), Cristina Prat (ADEQUATE), James Lee (MERMAIDS-ARI 1.0), Patricia Bruijning-Verhagen (MERMAIDS-ARI 2.0), Marlieke de Kraker (HONEST-PREPS), Lennie Derde (REMAP-CAP) and Alike van der Velden (ECRAID-PRIME) who provided more information on their Ecraid-driven studies and projects.
We were very pleased to welcome Irene Norstedt, Director, People Directorate, DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission. Her presentation discussed some of the lessons the EU has learnt concerning public health research policy and how to build future preparedness and response to the threat of infectious diseases.
"The Ecraid launch brought together a large range of EU-funded projects that form the foundation of this new project. This clearly showed a continuous and strengthened European investment that unlocks our excellence in clinical studies through the establishment of a long-term clinical research network. The business plan that has been developed via an Horizon 2020 research grant is expected to further strengthen Ecraid as a financially self-sustainable network that should be attractive for industry including SMEs and have a close cooperation with the European Medicines Agency. We expect that Ecraid will significantly speed up the development of clinical interventions for infectious diseases by implementing and facilitating faster, less expensive high quality clinical studies."
In the next session, Carlo Giaquinto (VERDI), Julia Bielicki (Neo-IPC), Oliver Cornely (VACCELERATE) and Walter Zingg (REVERSE ) discussed their Ecraid-enabled studies, and how they will be enhanced by having access to Ecraid’s pan-European network. This was followed by Marco Cavaleri who presented EMA’s perspective on the importance of platform trials to combat infectious diseases.
Yazdan Yazdanpanah was the final speaker. He outlined EU RESPONSE, an Ecraid-affiliated project expanding on the DisCoVeRy trial in Europe, and whose aim is to design and implement a new adaptive European platform trial for emerging infectious diseases to improve Europe’s responsiveness to pandemic crises.
As you can see, it was a full day. We’re excited to launch Ecraid. Marc Bonten sums up the launch: "I’m proud of what was presented today. The studies already performed within COMBACTE and PREPARE underscore the quality of our clinical trial network and the capacity to innovate clinical trials in our consortium.”
You can watch each of the four sessions on YouTube.