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Establishing Ecraid

The EU-funded ECRAID-Base project builds upon the work done in COMBACTE and PREPARE towards forming a united pan-European front agains emerging infectious diseases (EID) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

ECRAID-Base commenced in March 2021 and delivers the initial set of activities for Ecraid – the European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases. Over the five-year duration of the project, Ecraid will evolve into a self-sustainable, not-for-profit organisation working towards improving clinical research in the field of infectious diseases in Europe. It aims to efficiently generate rigorous evidence to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of infections, and to respond to EID and AMR threats effectively and rapidly.

Warm-base network

At the core of ECRAID-Base is the unification of several networks into one pan-European, multidisciplinary, centralised 'warm-base' network that shares resources, data, and expertise to tackle the most urgent infectious diseases threats. Its infrastructure – built within the EU-funded projects COMBACTE and PREPARE – facilitates faster, easier, and more cost-effective clinical research. 

The network has the capacity and capability to:

  • directly enrol patients with infectious diseases to generate evidence to support the testing and development of new diagnostic, preventive and/or therapeutic strategies and therapies
  • conduct a broad range of rigorous clinical studies efficiently and rapidly
  • function as a platform for a rapid research response in the face of serious infectious disease outbreaks

Studies

The first studies to benefit from this unified infrastructure are five Perpetual Observational Studies (POS). These address infections relevant for AMR, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia and complicated urinary tract infections, as well as for EID like acute respiratory infections and unexplained febrile illness of likely viral aetiology. All of the POS will eventually mature into adaptive platform trials with the capability to rapidly respond to public health threats.

ECRAID-Base also supports the European arm of the Randomised, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP). This groundbreaking trial has the capability to rapidly adapt to new public health threats. 

Collaboration

The expertise required to clinically evaluate new diagnostics, treatments, vaccines, and other preventive and 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 response to infectious diseases. 

International collaboration is at the heart of ECRAID-Base. The consortium consists of 19 partner organisations based in nine countries: Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The project also takes advantage of strong working relationships developed through COMBACTE, PREPARE, VALUE-Dx and RECOVER, and seeks out new academic, healthcare, government, and industry partners to collaborate on meeting the challenges of EID and AMR head-on.

European UnionThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 965313.