Long COVID, a research and innovation project funded by the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon Europe has just been launched on 1st of June 2022. The pan-European project with a total budget of 8.2 M€ is coordinated by Helsinki University Hospital (HUS). The project consortium with 12 partners aims to understand the mechanisms behind the long-term symptoms following COVID-19 infection. Spinverse is one of the partners in this project making a difference to Long Covid Syndrome (LCS) sufferers.
The number of patients suffering from long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection is growing worldwide. It is therefore important to identify and understand the mechanisms behind the continuing symptoms and to use this improved understanding to provide adequate treatment to patients.
Long COVID project kicks off in June 2022
The Long COVID project, with its budget consisting of 6.55 M€ granted by the European Commission and 1.66 M€ granted by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), is first of its kind aiming to clarify the factors and mechanisms for the development of LCS. The project will have its kick-off event in late June, bringing together front-line expertise from the fields of clinical medicine, virology, metabolism, and immunology from all over Europe.
The mechanism of the long-term effects is studied at HUS’s Outpatient Clinic for Long-term Effects of COVID-19. Studies will be conducted with the help of cohort and register studies, mechanistic studies as well as with intervention and monitoring studies of patients with long COVID. In the research work, advantage is taken of omics technology, which is used to identify the factors and biomarkers that predispose people to the development of long-term effects of COVID-19 infection. The objective is also to create a Decision support system to predict and manage LCS.
Spinverse will be leading innovation management and day-to-day management of the project
Specialised in innovation management and management consulting, Spinverse will lead various activities in the project such as identifying ideas and understanding needs to develop new products, solutions and services, as well as ensuring intellectual property protection for them. In addition, Spinverse supports the project with day-to-day project management, helping the project run smoothly throughout the project’s duration of four years.
Spinverse also supported the project in preparing the successful funding application.
Chief Physician Mari Kanerva from HUS is the coordinator of the Long COVID project. Regarding the collaboration with Spinverse, she says: “In large pan-European projects like ours that connect several multidisciplinary groups, it is important to have an experienced and reliable partner such as Spinverse. During an EU grant proposal preparation, there are numerous technical details where a scientist or a physician is totally out of their comfort zone. We really appreciated the timely help and encouragement from the Spinverse team to reach our goal.“
Significant economic and societal impact
Several impacts are expected with the implementation of the project. The impact is not only of scientific significance, but economic and societal as well. The project aims to reduce the healthcare burden at least by 30% due to COVID-induced disability across all age groups by predicting the LCS at an early stage. It will also help to prevent the progression of COVID-19 illness to LCS and reduce the percentage of LCS patients by 20% in the future. This research work will also help to educate and empower LCS patients and manage them in a holistic manner. From societal perspective, the project aims to increase hope and strength to tackle this disease among the LCS patients.
Long COVID project consortium
Coordinator: Helsinki University Hospital HUS (Finland)
Partners: University Medical Centre Groningen (the Netherlands), University Hospital Basel (Switzerland), University of Helsinki (Finland), Protobios OÜ (Estonia), Lipotype GmbH (Germany), University of Zürich (Switzerland), Nuromedia GmbH (Germany), NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH (Germany), Chino SRLS (Italy), Steinbeis 2i GmbH (Germany), Spinverse Oy (Finland).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 01057553.