21 October 2016

European Union invests €45 million into research to combat the Zika disease

The European Union, through the Horizon 2020 programme, is investing €45 million in research to combat the outbreak of the Zika virus disease and other emerging infections transmitted by mosquitoes. The significant funding from the EU's research and innovation programme will support research on treatments, diagnostics and vaccines, as well as better risk assessment for Zika.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "This funding will be a major boost to the international effort to stop the outbreak of the Zika virus disease and protect new-borns as well as adults. Such outbreaks appear suddenly and know no borders. This research is an example of how we can mobilise funding quickly to face major new threats, and how we can lead a major research effort on a global scale."

The majority of the funding, €30 million, will go to three research consortia: ZikaPLAN (€11 million), coordinated by the Umeå University in Sweden, ZIKAction (€7 million), coordinated by the PENTA Foundation in Italy, and ZikAlliance (€12 million), coordinated by INSERM in France. Researchers from Europe, Brazil, other Latin American countries and the Caribbean will collaborate in the consortia to fill the knowledge gaps on Zika infection and its consequences for pregnant women, new-born babies and adults, and they will also develop improved diagnostic tests and investigate options for treatment and prevention.

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