Stratified host-directed approaches to improve prevention, treatment and/or cure of infectious diseases
Despite major advances in development of new drugs and vaccines against infectious diseases, many of the therapies and preventive measures do not result in the expected favourable health outcomes for various reasons. The pathogen might be resistant to the treatment, or a required immune response might not be provoked to contain the infection; the used drug might not reach the pathogen, or the pathogen might escape the host defence mechanisms. In addition, each individual might be responding differently to the intervention, making it difficult to make one intervention fit all patients. A promising avenue to overcome treatment failure in infectious diseases is to develop novel therapeutic or preventive approaches on the basis of specific factors identified in the host or the host-pathogen interaction. This approach provides the basis for stratification of individuals based on these characteristics and tailor the treatment or the preventive measure accordingly.
Proposals should test emerging concepts in drug and/or vaccine development in order to address the problem of antimicrobial drug resistance and to optimize therapeutic, curative or preventive measures against infectious diseases of major concern for Europe. Proposals should capitalize on knowledge of the role of host factors, immune-modulators or of host-pathogen interactions influencing disease outcome that can be utilized to strengthen the response to treatment or prevention measures. This should lead to new enhanced therapies, cures and/or preventive measures. Differences in factors such as age, gender and genetic variation among the human population should be taken into consideration.
The proposals should focus on late pre-clinical and/or clinical research, supporting proof of concept and selecting relevant biomarkers for clinical validation. They should take advantage of existing or newly established cohorts to help identify factors for predicting the course of the disease and its response to the intervention in stratified patients.
The downstream constraints for the uptake of the intervention by national health systems should be taken into account. The suitability, acceptability and adaptability of the interventions to be developed should be addressed and assessed for different population groups and will thus require expertise from the social sciences and the humanities.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 10 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
- Increase Europe's capacity to control infectious diseases.
- Enriched product development pipelines with novel, potentially more effective, targeted treatments, cures and/or preventive measures for infectious diseases and/or validated biomarkers with potential for rapid uptake into clinical practice.
- Reduced burden of major infectious diseases.
- Contribute to the achievement of the European One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance.
- Contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 3, ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life.
- Socio-economic science and humanities