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German government focuses support for COVID-19 therapies

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has announced a grant of EUR 46 million for particularly promising approaches for treating COVID-19. The sum is the latest installment in an aid package amounting to at least EUR 90 million.

Laboratory assistant
© AlexRaths

The support is dedicated to eight treatments that are already far along in their development. German Research Minister Anja Karliczek introduced the candidates at the beginning of July, noting, “The research results of the individual projects have good prospects and preclinical development of the drug candidates is well-advanced.” Karliczek added that the program included the most varied of technologies, including monoclonal antibodies, RNA-based drugs, and small chemical molecules as well.
Under the program called Research and Development of Urgently Needed Treatments for SARS-CoV-2, “Individual industrial and interdisciplinary cooperative industrial research projects,” are eligible for grants. What is more, it also requires “cooperative projects be coordinated with industrial partners that have demonstrated expertise and the required processing and development steps to bring a medicine into therapeutic application.”
Companies working on the supported projects are Aptarion Biotech AG, CORAT Therapeutics GmbH, Eisbach Bio GmbH, Atriva Therapeutics, AdrenoMed AG, Explicat Pharma GmbH, and EMC Microcollections GmbH. Pharmaceuticals giant Bayer is also directing one of the projects, known as CATCOVID. Other project names Accelerate-D21, which involves blocking the inflammation caused by COVID; CORAT-1 – a neutralizing antibody for C-19 patients; EisCor – an anti-viral drug that works against all corona viruses, including the latest SARS-CoV-2 mutants; MEK-I-COV, which reduces virus reproduction and limits immune overreaction; RESCUE, a monoclonal antibody; STAMINA-Cov19; and IndTCOVID-19.
The export initiative for the German healthcare industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY, is the place to learn more about this and other German government support programs for developing innovative new drugs. The initiative also publishes guides and directories for the pharmaceutical and medical biotechnology sectors.