The COMBACTE projects are the foundation of ECRAID, a network to support the full range of clinical research into new antimicrobial agents
In response to the fragmented nature of clinical research in Europe, a new entity called ECRAID has been set up to be able to quickly and efficiently launch and carry out clinical trials of potential new antibiotics. As it currently stands, clinical studies of new antimicrobial drugs have to be set up from scratch, leading to wasted time and resources. ECRAID offers access to a ‘warm base’ pan-European clinical research network that can perform a wide range of 'on-demand' clinical trials.
The core service offered by ECRAID is clinical research supported by laboratory analyses, epidemiological analyses, statistical analyses, data management, biobanking, training, and public engagement. The new entity will provide the full breadth of clinical studies on infectious diseases, from observational and interventional studies to prevention, treatment, diagnostics, screening, epidemiological, quality of life, and health economics research. It will also support phase one to phase four clinical trials.
According to the ECRAID website: "In the absence of any unusual infectious disease outbreaks in Europe, ECRAID will operate in a so-called ‘inter-epidemic’ mode, providing clinical research and supporting services. During this ‘inter-epidemic mode’, emerging outbreaks of epidemic-prone infectious diseases can occur at any time, including those of potential public health concern to Europe."
ECRAID is an outgrowth of the European-funded projects COMBACTE and the EU-funded PREPARE programme. COMBACTE (Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe) is part of the IMI-funded programme ND4BB (New Drugs for Bad Bugs) and focuses on improving the clinical development of antibiotics. COMBACTE has been building a high-quality clinical and laboratory research network for new options to treat or prevent bacterial infections in the EU and affiliated countries.
At the heart of COMBACTE lie four specialised European networks. With more than 1,000 hospitals, COMBACTE is currently being used to identify and activate sites that can participate in COVID19 clinical trials alongside the regular COMBACTE clinical trials focusing on antimicrobial resistance.