In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, also referred to as
SARS-COV-2, tremendous efforts have been made to pull research initiatives together in
order to accelerate the coordinated response against this coronavirus outbreak.
In this context, the European Commission launched an emergency funding action which enabled 18 projects to be selected for funding in March 2020 as part of the Horizon 2020 programme.
These 18 projects involve 140 research teams from across the EU and beyond who work on :
Improving epidemiology and public health, including our preparedness and response to outbreaks. These projects will help develop better monitoring systems in order to effectively prevent and control the spread of the virus, as well as contribute to the assessment of social dynamics.
Rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests. Increased efforts will concentrate on enabling front-line health workers to make the diagnosis more quickly and more accurately, which will in turn reduce the risk of further spread of the virus.
New treatments, in which a dual approach will be adopted. Firstly, accelerating the development of new treatments currently in the pipeline (including therapeutic peptides, monoclonal antibodies and broad-spectrum antivirals), and secondly, screening and identifying molecules that could work against the virus, using advanced modelling and computing techniques.
Development of new vaccines. The research will focus on developing a prophylactic vaccine and a therapeutic vaccine, which will be used for prevention and treatment respectively.
MANCO is one of the 18 projects that have been successfully selected by the European Commission, which is devoted to the development of Monoclonal Antibodies against COVID-19.
MANCO is a collaborative research project bringing together a complementary and highly experienced group of 8 partners from 4 European countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and France) that will achieve the critical mass required to deliver the ambitious objectives of this research programme.
The use of monoclonal antibodies is a promising approach to both patient management of emerging viral infections and to better preparedness and response to emerging epidemics.
Overall, the MANCO project aims at contributing to the rapid international response against COVID-19, through preclinical and clinical evaluation of monoclonal antibodies against this coronavirus.
Professor and Principal Investigator in the Department of Cell Biology at Erasmus Medical Centre, The Netherlands.
We are a European consortium that is developing human antibodies with the purpose of developing a prognostic or therapeutic to prevent infection by the Coronavirus SARS-COV-2 / COVID-19. A prognostic would be particularly useful for people like health care workers who are at risk of being infected with the virus, while a therapeutic would be used to cure people that have been infected with the virus.
These human antibodies are generated using transgenic mice that have been modified to generate human antibodies in response to a challenge with the SARS-COV-2 spike protein, which the virus uses to infect cells after binding to a receptor protein (ACE2) present on human cells of different organs in particular those of the airways.
We aim to find antibodies that bind to the spike protein, a conserved region of other SARS Coronaviruses, to prevent the Spike protein action. By doing so, our ambition is to release antibodies able to also neutralise future emerging coronaviruses. »