Oxford --21 October 2016, ISARIC members are part of two successful bids to the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme that will set up multinational and multi-disciplinary research consortia to combat Zika virus (ZIKV) infection and build pandemic preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean over the next 3 to 5 years, the European Commission announced today.

The two consortia - ZIKAlliance, which is coordinated by Xavier de Lamballerie (Inserm, IRD, Aix-Marseille University), and ZikaPLAN - coordinated by Annelies Wilder-Smith (Umeå University) were awarded €23M between them. A third consortium, ZIKAction, was awarded €7M and is coordinated by the PENTA Foundation.

ISARIC partners involved with ZIKAlliance and ZikaPLAN include TGHN, BricNET through FIOCRUZ, Institut Pasteur, University of Liverpool, Thomas Jänisch (individual member), Xavier de Lamballerie (individual member), and ISARIC’s Coordinating Centre at Oxford – among others.

The three consortia will seek to fill the knowledge gaps related to ZIKV infection and its effects on pregnant women, adults, foetuses and new-borns – and develop diagnostic tests, investigate potential therapeutic candidates, and explore strategies for prevention. With regards to overlapping activities and to avoid duplication, the consortia will coordinate and collaborate extensively with regards to their clinical work packages, communication, and the development of a preparedness platform ahead of future infectious disease outbreaks in the region.

“Since ISARIC’s response to ZIKV started in early December 2015, we have worked tirelessly to support our colleagues in Zika affected countries, and we are delighted to see these platforms getting the funding that they deserve” says Gail Carson, head of ISARIC’s Coordinating Centre and lead for ZIKAlliance’s WP8. “Research is crucial to an efficient outbreak response, and building future preparedness is what ISARIC is all about”, she continues.

Kick-off meetings are being planned to take place for the three platforms within the next couple of months.

 

For more information about ISARIC’s involvement in the Zika response effort, please contact Kajsa-Stina Longuere by email: kajsa-stina.longuere@ndm.ox.ac.uk or phone: +447718696412

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