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Published: 2020-05-14 11:48 | Updated: 2020-06-01 13:34

KI researcher coordinates large international coronavirus project

Ali Mirazimi Photo: Göran Ekeberg/AddLight

EU-financed Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has boosted funding for research on diagnostics, medicines and vaccines against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Ali Mirazimi, researcher at Karolinska Institutet and Sweden’s National Veterinary Institute (SVA), coordinates one of eight projects provisionally selected among 144 applicants.

A total of 6.4 million euros (68 million kronor) is allocated to Ali Mirazimi’s research project for a period of four years. The project, titled Modern approaches for developing antivirals, involves nine participating organizations and companies in six countries, including two based in Sweden.

The aim is to develop new medicines to fight SARS-CoV-2. The researchers will use advanced three-dimensional mini organs and stem cells in their research, and the project will be run from both SVA and Karolinska Institutet.

“I’m proud and happy that IMI has chosen to finance our project,” says Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor in clinical virology at the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Karolinska Institutet. This is a big success for our coronavirus research. We can now increase the pace of our efforts in developing antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2.”

In a highly competitive call, only 6 percent of the 144 applications were selected by IMI to receive funding. IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). In total, the eight projects are expected to receive 117 million euros.

This text is based on press releases from SVA (in Swedish) and The Innovative Medicines Initiative.