The R&D response to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has been massive, promoted by unprecedented funding to support innovative solutions to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. However, effort should be taken to keep quality over quantity, to this end, evaluation processes are key.
Non-profit organisations together with commercial organisations have put a titanic effort to fund the response to Covid-19:
In Spain and Portugal, six projects from the CaixaImpulse COVID-19 Express Call will receive 1.8M€ to develop innovative solutions to fight the pandemic. Seeking scientific excellence, and a clear market access strategy and societal impact, “la Caixa” Foundation has funded projects that will address 3 key steps in the fight against Covid-19:
- Vaccination: three projects will develop SARS-CoV-2 vaccines through different strategies aiming at inducing virus-specific antibodies and virus-specific T cell responses. Inducing both, humoral and cellular long-term immune responses, is key to rapidly achieved herd immunity and worldwide protection against the virus.
- Treatment: one project will focus on a novel antiviral drug to inhibit viral replication, and another one, will develop a low-cost, easily assembled and locally produced medical ventilation equipment to increase survival of patients.
- Diagnosis: one project will develop a simple, rapid and affordable diagnostic test suitable for portable devices in low- and middle-income countries.
As for any other investment, a due diligence of funded-to-be research projects should be duly carried out by independent experts.
HiTT’s long-standing experience provides a unique perspective to evaluate early-stage research projects and investment opportunities within the healthcare sector. We believe a high-standard evaluation process will assure best-of-breed solutions for the future.