Launch of the APPEAL research initiative
As of January 2024, an EU consortium led by Jena University in Germany, has started the Antivirus Pandemic Preparedness EuropeAn pLatform (APPEAL) research initiative. The consortium consists of a collaboration between 13 partners from 7 countries, and aims to enhance preparedness for future pandemics. This EU funded collaboration will establish a comprehensive program for the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs within a five year time frame ensuring drug affordability and accessibility to low income countries.
The APPEAL initiative aims to establish a platform for the identification of target proteins and their signalling pathways within host cells, utilising both computational and experimental approaches. Subsequently, potential drug candidates will undergo comprehensive testing in our laboratories, including cell culture and human-relevant 3D models. The most promising candidates will then advance to animal studies, and ultimately, validation in a clinical pilot study. The goal is to establish a comprehensive pipeline for the identification and validation of potential antiviral targets and associated drug candidates.
In addition, the scientists also aim to therapeutically activate target proteins that are identified as enhancers of cellular defence processes. For the most promising candidate, the safety and effectiveness of the lead compound will be evaluated in pre-clinical pilot studies.
ECRIN is a partner of the APPEAL research initiative, together with ERINHA, and with research institutes from Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK. For more information please read the official press release, or visit the APPEAL website.
The APPEAL project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101137311.