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AMRI identifies actions to optimize research related to biomarker development for COVID-19

26 October 2020

The Alliance of Medical Research Infrastructures (AMRI) published an article on biomarker research and development for COVID-19 which focuses on the need to coordinate efforts globally and outlines actions that answer 5 strategic objectives set forth by AMRI.

Biomarkers play a vital role in our understanding of the coronavirus disease including, detection, diagnostics, disease progression and appropriate treatment options as well as the assessment of the efficacy of future vaccine. A large number of different biomarkers are currently being applied to COVID-19 for different purposes but only a few have validated clinical applications.

The article highlights the importance of a standardized pathway for biomarker validation to ensure robust and reproducible results that can then be applied for clinical interventions: “Significant efforts and resources have been invested in the development of biomarkers for COVID-19 and AMRI urges that research must be of good quality, providing robust ethical evidence that stands up to scrutiny and can be used to inform policy making.” The standardised pathway requires centralised coordination which in Europe is facilitated by the members of the Alliance: BBMRI-ERIC, EATRIS-ERIC and ECRIN-ERIC.

The recommendations put forth include a variety of actions which will enable the achievement of the five strategic objectives :

  • To establish a European taskforce for validation of novel diagnostic products;
  • To define criteria for COVID-19 sample handling, data collection and biobank management including ethical considerations;
  • To validate novel diagnostic approaches;
  • To identify and validate biomarkers as clinical endpoints for clinical trials;
  • To define the biomarker profile determining the innate and acquired immune response to the infection and establish immune signatures at different stages of the disease.

The full article is accessible here