The Champalimaud Foundation leads an international clinical research consortium whose goal is to better understand the nature of Covid-19 and develop a treatment for this disease that has already killed 251,000 people and infected some 3.6 million.
According to a statement from the Champalimaud Foundation, the consortium will bring together teams of researchers from Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the United States, combining clinical research in cancer and infectious diseases.
In addition to the Champalimaud Foundation, partnership also includes UCL London, the French Institute Gustave Roussy, the Center for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University in Belfast and the Center for Infectious Diseases in Rome, among others.
In a statement, the foundation says that for the first time cancer and infectious disease centers are working together on clinical developments with the aim of changing the course of Covid-19.
Clinical immunology is at a crossroads where biologically and clinically relevant research intersects clinical practice in infectious diseases and cancer, although there is often no cross-interface between these disciplines.
The note stresses that immunological approaches to vaccination, clinical management and biological and cellular therapy for cancer and infectious diseases have several aspects in common.
“A structured and open interface with exchange of clinical data, development of clinical studies and treatment concepts, will benefit both fields, oncological immunotherapy and host-directed therapies – in which the patient's immune response is actively manipulated to achieve a result more favorable ”, defends the Portuguese foundation.
O consortium is open to the participation of other participants who subscribe to the sharing of specialized research knowledge, as well as the active promotion of promising clinical concepts, and a web page is expected soon, where information on projects, organizations involved and indications on how other entities can join this initiative will be made available.
Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 250,000 deaths and infected about 3.6 million people in 195 countries and territories. More than 1.1 million patients were considered cured.
In Portugal, 1,074 people died of the 25,702 confirmed to be infected, and there are 1,743 recovered cases, according to the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
To combat the pandemic, governments sent 4.5 billion people home (more than half the world's population), ended non-essential trade and drastically reduced air traffic, paralyzing entire sectors of the world economy.
Faced with a decrease in new patients in intensive care and contagion, some countries have started to develop plans to reduce confinement and in some cases to alleviate various measures.