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OUS researchers will lead the development of a new European research platform

Researchers at Oslo University Hospital will lead the development of a new European research platform for testing new drugs for COVID-19 and future pandemics

Oslo University Hospital and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health will, in collaboration with ECRIN and the French research institute Inserm, lead the development of the research platform EU-SolidAct. EU-SolidAct is part of a larger multinational project, EU-RESPONSE, which was recently awarded 15.7 million euros by the European Commission.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a need to be able to test new drugs quickly and effectively in a pandemic situation. EU-SolidAct will be developed as an adaptive research platform for testing new drugs against COVID-19. New drugs can be tested in several parallel exploratory phase 2 studies. The most promising drugs can subsequently be tested without interruption in large phase 3 studies. EU-SolidAct will have a flexible design, allowing most European hospitals to participate at the level that the individual hospital choose, from simple registration of side effects and deaths to thorough reporting of disease diagnostics, laboratory examinations and long-term follow-up. EU-SolidAct can be used to test existing drugs for new diseases, combinations of known drugs, or completely new agents where testing the side effect profile is crucial. Although EU-SolidAct has been developed to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal is for this platform to be able to reactivate quickly and efficiently in the event of future pandemics. A successful EU RESPONSE will require national anchoring and supranational governance through the establishment of solid governance tools for the respective countries' health authorities as well as European co-operation bodies and industry. EU RESPONSE is an important step towards better coordinated research in Europe.

From the Norwegian side, the development of the EU-SolidAct research platform will be led by an interdisciplinary group at Oslo University Hospital, led by statistician Inge Christoffer Olsen from Regional Research Support. The goal is for the new research platform to be ready by the turn of the year.