In order to be better prepared for future pandemics, the European Commission has launched the €50 million call “Pandemic preparedness and response: Broad spectrum anti-viral therapeutics for infectious diseases with epidemic potential” as part of the Horizon research programme. One of the projects that was awarded the contract is called AVITHRAPID and stands for “Antiviral Therapeutics for Rapid Response Against Pandemic Infectious Diseases”. AVITHRAPID comprises a consortium of 18 organisations and companies from 8 countries and has a budget of 7.5 million euros. Partners from Switzerland are the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Chelonia. Swiss participation in the research project is funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI.

The aim of AVITHRAPID is to build a pipeline of early-stage drug candidates based on a series of small molecules with proven bioactivity that can be rapidly translated into novel antiviral agents against emerging diseases. In addition, the AVITHRAPID consortium plans to test a small molecule against the Zika virus in a clinical trial.

Life Science Communication was entrusted with the communication for the launch of AVITHRAPID. This includes branding, the website and media relations.