EU Strategy for the development of COVID-19 therapeutics
The strategy will support the development and availability of much-needed COVID-19 therapeutics, including treatments for ‘long COVID'. It covers research, development and manufacturing, as well as procurement and distribution of medicine. The new strategy is part of the European Health Union which enables EU countries to prepare and respond together to health crises. It also ensures the availability of affordable and innovative medicine.
The strategy includes clear goals:
- Research, development and innovation: Investing €90 million in studies and setting up a therapeutics innovation booster
- Access to and swift approval of clinical trials: Investing €5 million under the EU4Health programme
- Search for candidate therapeutics: Investing €5 million to map therapeutics and diagnostics and establish a portfolio of 10 potential COVID-19 therapeutics
- Supply chains and delivery: Funding €40 million of preparations to support flexible manufacturing
- Regulatory flexibility: Authorising at least three new therapeutics by October
- Joint procurement and financing: Launching new contracts for the purchase of authorised therapeutics by the end of the year
- International cooperation to make medicines available to all.
Speaking of the need for the development of COVID-19 therapies, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: “The situation in many intensive care units across the continent remains critical. We need to focus both on vaccines and therapeutics, as two powerful and complementary ways to combat COVID-19. But currently we have only one authorised medicine to treat COVID-19. By acting on better availability of medicines today, we are making sure patients receive the treatments they need while also preparing our future biomedical preparedness. A coordinated strategy on quick access to therapeutics will boost our strategic autonomy and contribute to a strong Health Union.”
The Commission will draw up a portfolio of 10 potential COVID-19 therapeutics and identify the five most promising ones by June.
Read the full press release here.