In January 2022, European Clinical Research Alliance for Infectious Diseases (Ecraid) became a legal entity and is now fully operational to advance knowledge in the field of infectious diseases. This is Ecraid’s initial step as it evolves into a self-sustaining, not-for-profit organisation conducting clinical research for both public and private sponsors.
The expertise required to clinically evaluate new diagnostics, treatments, vaccines and other preventive and/or therapeutic interventions is not confined to a single institute or country. In fact, a lack of international collaboration and solidarity leads to fragmentation and isolation of research efforts, inefficient use of scarce research resources and suboptimal impact on the combat of infectious diseases. Ecraid aims to remedy this issue.
Following funding by the European Commission and the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) in recent years, the Ecraid network is able to conduct clinical research in reduced time, for reduced cost and of high quality. Ecraid’s clinical research network encompasses more than 2,000 sites in 40+ European countries. It includes primary care settings (general practitioners), hospital settings (emergency rooms and intensive care units), paediatric care settings, clinical laboratories, and long-term care facilities.
The network will provide a European infrastructure capable of performing all aspects of clinical studies from design to dissemination. Key design principles built into the network’s organisation and operations will ensure the delivery of rapid and coordinated research responses to public health emergencies that represent an imminent or immediate threat to the health and security of people living in Europe.
Marc Bonten, CEO of Ecraid and Professor of Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases at University Medical Center, Utrecht (the Netherlands), said: “This is an historical opportunity to amplify the public and private resources already invested in Europe to build sustainable clinical trial networks. Ecraid will enhance the effectiveness of clinical trials, in order to scientifically demonstrate the optimal care for patients with infections, either caused by emerging pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, or microorganisms no longer susceptible to current treatment, such as antibiotic-resistant bacteria”.