CARE presentation at ICAR2023

Are you going to ICAR2023 in Lyon in March? If so, you will get the opportunity to hear about a novel SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor discovered and characterized as part of the H2020 project SCORE and IMI project CARE on Wednesday 15 March.

Title of the presentation: A novel SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor with potent activity in a SCID mouse model targets the Membrane protein

Presenter: Manon Laporte

Session Name:  Influenza, RSV, and Other Respiratory Viruses Session

Date/Time:  Wednesday, 15 March, 10:15 am

The faces behind the CARE work-packages – WP7

CARE (Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe) is the largest European research initiative addressing the challenges of COVID-19. It is no surprise that it is designed in a comprehensive, yet agile, structure to fulfill the 37 partners’ shared key goals: (1) to identify therapeutics for the current pandemic, (2) to identify antiviral therapies for future outbreaks and (3) to increase the understanding of the pathophysiology of COVID-19. In a set-up of eight work-packages (WPs), the scientists and management at CARE carry out the project activities that have so far resulted in valuable learnings about COVID-19 and how it might be defeated 

In this series, we go behind the scenes through brief interviews with the leadership of each of the eight CARE work-packages to hear insights on what makes their work so special, as well as their challenges and hopes.  

Quote Card WP7 Maria Vehreschild_V2
Quote Card WP7 Rienk

WP7 – Clinical Evaluation of repurposed or novel SARS-CoV-2 antivirals or antibodies 

The CARE work-package 7 (WP7) aims to clinically evaluate repurposed or novel SARS-CoV-2 antivirals or antibodies through two phase 1 and one phase 2 clinical trials. Maria Vehreschild (Goethe University Frankfurt) and Rienk Pypstra (Pfizer) provided us a short interview with insights into the activities of this work package, its highlights and the challenges that they had to overcome.

How has the collaboration within your WP team developed over the past two years?   

Maria: We have significantly improved our interdisciplinary network within the work package and have gained an in depth understanding of the special expertise of each member.

Rienk: We came to the CARE project with shared goals, but to be most effective in meeting them, we had to get to know each other and the strengths we could all contribute. Over the last two years, we’ve learned many ways in which our diverse technical expertise and experiences are quite complementary.


What has surprised you about working on the CARE project?

Maria: Even though we were not able to meet in person over a long period of time, it is impressive how so many experts in their specific fields have still been able to connect and contribute to the entire consortium in a meaningful way.

Rienk: Particularly given how rapidly this public health situation was evolving around the globe, I was impressed with the progress the entire CARE team made to advance activities across workstreams and evaluate assets that could potentially progress into clinical trials.


What makes the work for CARE special for you and your WP team?

Maria: We enjoy working with our international partners and exchanging ideas with them on the challenges that are inherent to the design and conduct of clinical trials.

Rienk: In addition to developing assets that could potentially help fight COVID-19, in CARE we are also laying out a proposed roadmap and infrastructure to help enable a rapid response when subsequent pandemics emerge.


What highlights can you share from two years with your WP team so far?

Maria: I truly appreciate the open-minded attitude and communication among the members of our work package.

Rienk: Because our work package focuses on clinical evaluation, our team had to exercise patience while candidates were identified to progress into Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. But, in the process, we have developed a strong collaborative framework that we believe will further enhance understanding of this disease and approaches to help combat it.


What are or were the biggest challenges within WP7? (and how did you overcome them?)

Maria: We are still looking forward to the identification of a drug to be assessed in a clinical trial.

Rienk: One of the biggest challenges for me was balancing the forward-looking preparation required to take assets into clinical development with the uncertainty of not knowing which might be promising enough to advance. We continue to refine this balance every day, as it is the nature of our work.

FAIRplus and CARE collaboration to publish FAIR SARS-CoV-2 data

Publishing datasets in the public domain is important to avoid the duplication of research. For effective dissemination, it is important for the datasets to be FAIR, i.e., Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

The IMI FAIRplus project, whose purpose was to develop tools and guidelines for making life science data FAIR, helped Janssen Pharmaceutica, one of the CARE partners, to improve the FAIRness of a dataset describing the results of ~5,500 FDA-approved drugs and clinical candidates that have passed Phase I studies, which were screened for anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity within CARE. For this purpose, they worked together on the metadata, implemented a standardized ontology and stored data on a long-term hosting platform.

You can now find the dataset on ChEMBL, a publicly accessible repository specifically for bioactive compounds.

To learn more, click here: FAIRplus use case IMI CARE: Quick-response COVID-19 effort opens FAIR data on ~5,500 compounds.

Iktos, a new partner of CARE consortium

CARE is welcoming Iktos as a new consortium member.

Iktos is developing artificial intelligence solutions for medicinal chemistry and new drug design.

Iktos will contribute to CARE by building in silico models predicting molecule activity in biological assays and designing molecules with predicted profile converging towards the desired profile for preclinical candidates.

Iktos’s contributions will further bolster the development of therapeutics against coronaviruses in CARE.

Follow us on LinkedIn!

CARE is now on LinkedIn. Click here to connect with us and get up to date information on the CARE project.


CARE presentation at ICAR2023

10 March 2023
CARE presentation at ICAR2023 Are you going to ICAR2023 in Lyon in March? If so, you will get the opportunity to hear about a novel SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor discovered and characterized as part of the H2020 project SCORE and IMI project CARE on Wednesday 15 March. Title of the presentation: A novel SARS-CoV-2 inhibitor with potent [...]