VERDI cohorts join CoMeCT, a new European project to boost clinical research preparedness for future infectious disease outbreaks

February 1, 2024

CoMeCT, short for Coordination Mechanism for Cohorts and Trials, is a new EU-funded project aiming to strengthen European preparedness and response capacity for future health emergencies. Over the next three years, CoMeCT will act as a coordination platform bringing together European cohort studies and adaptive trials on infectious diseases with epidemic potential, allowing them to act collectively and more efficiently.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for agile research networks that can quickly implement robust clinical research to improve patient care, inform public health measures and better support regulatory decisions. Unfortunately, the current research landscape across Europe is still fragmented. To prevent duplication of efforts and maximise impacts, there is need for a strong coordination mechanism connecting trials, cohorts, clinicians and other stakeholders.

CoMeCT will provide such a mechanism by overseeing and facilitating dialogue among cohorts and trials, highlighting gaps in research, promoting exchange of best practices and harmonising clinical research efforts.

Cohort studies under VERDI, focusing on the impact of mpox and SARS-CoV-2 variants on children, pregnant women and adults with sexually transmitted infections, will continue to be represented in the CCB. VERDI’s involvement in CoMeCT will ensure that children, pregnant women and other high-risk groups are prioritised in research impacting future pandemic planning.

CoMeCT will closely collaborate with policy-makers and emergency preparedness mechanisms at EU and international levels, such as Health Emergency Preparedness and Response (HERA) at the European Commission, the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This collaboration with health policy- and decision-makers will ensure alignment between policy priorities and research activities, and provide a timely and coordinated response in the event of future pandemics. 

The CoMeCT Consortium is coordinated by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and includes six partner institutions: European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases (Ecraid, The Netherlands), European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN, France), University of Verona (Italy), Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM, France), University of Cologne (Germany), and the Penta Foundation (Italy). 

CoMeCT has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Grant Agreement No 101136531.