The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the establishment of a research network with 150 million euros in order to bundle and strengthen the research activities of German university medicine to deal with the current pandemic crisis. The initiative came from the Chairman of the Charité Board, Professor Heyo K. Kroemer, and the Director of Charité Virology, Professor Christian Drosten.
Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek explains:
"The initiative of Professor Kroemer and Professor Drosten can play a very important key role in overcoming the pandemic and thus in the treatment of many seriously ill people. This initiative is unique in this exceptional situation for our society. We need the most effective ideas and concepts to provide the best possible care for patients while protecting staff at the same time.
The German university hospitals play a prominent role in the development of these ideas and concepts. We want to use this expertise even more. The Charité will coordinate this network.
The following is planned:
The initiative is intended to bring together and evaluate the action plans, diagnostic and treatment strategies of as many German university hospitals as possible. The goal: to learn from and with each other. Because the corona epidemic is a challenge that we have never known before.
As a result, structures and processes are to be created in the clinics that ensure the best possible care for COVID-19 sufferers. The university clinics and the other hospitals will then be able to act quickly, with quality assurance and effectively.
In addition, the data of the treated COVID-19 patients will be systematically recorded and bundled in a database at all university clinics. In this way, medical histories or data on the constitution of the patient can be brought together.
Additional scientists who are not active in medical research can be added to this data collection. With their research, they will support the work of the doctors. With the help of the broad data set, it will certainly be possible to gain valid and very useful insights. These help with the individual treatment of patients, with pandemic management, but also with the development of vaccines and therapies.
One of the first things to be established is a National Task Force. The Federal Government will play an active role here. The task force serves to control and coordinate between university medicine and politics. Various other scientific networks are also to be included. We want to make the good relationship between science and politics even closer.
I am convinced: This unique scientific project, this pooling of strengths, will take us a big step forward in the treatment and research of COVID-19. I would like to thank Professor Kroemer and Professor Drosten for their initiative and wish you every success. And I'm sure that I speak for a lot of people in our country."
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 presents Germany with the greatest challenge since the Second World War. Nationwide coordination is required not only to contain the spread of the virus, but also to ensure the best possible medical care for patients. Rapid knowledge gain has high priority. This requires a very efficient support structure.
This is where the research network – an association of prospectively all German university hospitals – comes in: For the first time in a crisis, all nationwide action plans, diagnostic and treatment strategies of the university hospitals and other players in the health care system are to be systematically brought together.
In this way, the university clinics and other hospitals will be able to act quickly, with quality assurance and effectively. Innovative methods in particular, such as the telemedical treatment of COVID-19 patients, can be used quickly and extensively after successful testing.
In addition, the researchers will collect, track and analyze the treatment of COVID-19 patients in a standardized way. On this basis, treatment options can be developed, for example for certain patient groups with previous illnesses. Existing and new findings should be communicated quickly and across the board. In this way, they can quickly flow into the practice and ensure the best possible treatment quality. The broad dataset will also provide new scientific insights that are of great use for vaccine and therapy development, but also for pandemic management.
The research network is coordinated by the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
what does that do BMBF still against COVID-19? Further information on other funding activities can be found here: www.bmbf.de/coronavirus
Source: BMBF press release from March 26.03.2020, XNUMX