EATRIS response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Published 27 March 2020

Fast access to key services and facilities for research projects to combat COVID-19

EATRIS mission is to accelerate the translation of promising scientific discoveries into benefits for patients. We focus our main activities on bridging the innovation gap between the lab and the clinic and we offer services and expertise to increase chances of research to successfully reach patients.

The EATRIS infrastructure’s resources are therefore highly relevant for the research community in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and include the following expertise and services:

  • 2019-nCoV challenge studies in Non-Human Primates (NHPs) under BSL3+
  • Advanced preclinical models including NHPs, with advanced analytical readouts including molecular and structural imaging (including real-time imaging of lung lesions), available under BSL 3 conditions
  • Immunomonitoring and virological assays
  • High throughput screening supporting diagnostics, genotyping, phenotyping and drug repurposing
  • Clinical isolation units
  • Expertise on pharmacology and protein-drug interaction modelling
  • Regulatory support, including:
    • Scientific advice procedure with the European Medicines Agency or national authorities

These services are available for any researcher or research team (academic or industrial) that is developing a potential therapy, vaccine or tool for use against the current COVID-19 pandemic, with secured funding. We can also put in touch with the right partners if you are preparing a funding proposal.

Research requests will be handled via a single point of contact, with a targeted turnaround time of 48 hours or less. This means that applicants will receive details of available services and suppliers within 2 days of the first request. For more information contact David Morrow, EATRIS Senior Scientific Programme Manager, via email (davidmorrow[at] or phone (+31(0)615513127).

Specific services for vaccine developers available through TRANSVAC

Now more than ever the world is recognising the importance of vaccines. The EU-funded project, TRANSVAC-2, of which EATRIS is a partner, accelerates vaccine candidates across the R&D pipeline, by offering services to vaccine developers in academic and industry settings.

Researchers developing vaccine candidates against COVID-19 can benefit from TRANSVAC-2 services, namely but not exclusively:  animal models; adjuvant formulation; clinical trial support. As part of the project, EATRIS can provide regulatory support. You can learn more here.

EATRIS researchers and clinicians in the frontline

The EATRIS community, composed of university medical centres and research facilities, is at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight. Their courage, tirelessness and fortitude are awe-inspiring for all of us.

We are closely monitoring the efforts undertaken by EATRIS members and are regularly updating a non-exhaustive list of activities they are involved in and additional targeted services they can provide. View and download the latest overview document here (Version 1.13 – 26 March 2021).

To accelerate the EATRIS efforts towards COVID-19 research, we developed a digital Research Forum dedicated to the researchers of the EATRIS community. The platform recently launched allows us to interact, discuss protocols, share resources and translational tools and collaborate around COVID-19 scientific priorities. If you wish to gain access to the shared Research Forum site, use the form available here and gain access to the digital platform.

BBMRI, ECRIN, EATRIS join forces to offer COVID-19 Fast Response Service

EATRIS mission is highly complementary with those of  the European Clinical Research Infrastructure network (ECRIN) and the European research infrastructure for biobanking (BBMRI). The COVID-19 Fast Response Service is a coordinated and accelerated procedure for researchers to access the academic facilities, services and resources of the three medical research infrastructures, working together under the umbrella of the European Alliance of Medical Research Infrastructures (“EU-AMRI”).

Research requests will be handled via a single point of contact, with a targeted turnaround time of 72 hours or less. This means that applicants will receive details of available services and suppliers within 3 days of the first request. For more information on how to access our fast response service, please follow the guidance provided here or email David Morrow (EATRIS Senior Scientific Programme Manager).

  • In a joint statement available here, the three infrastructures highlight five recommendations and practical steps to accelerate COVID-19 Research.
  • You can also read more about how BBMRI, ECRIN and EATRIS joined forces to offer a COVID-19 Fast Response Service here.
  • Other European Research Infrastructures also offer services to support the fight against COVID-19, you can find the full list of activities and services here.

How we are adjusting our Operations

Following the recommendations of the Dutch authorities and of the Amsterdam University Medical Centre where EATRIS Coordination and Support Office is located, our staff has been working from home since March 16. Their health and safety remain our top priority.

We remain focused on our mission: to accelerate the translation of promising discoveries into benefits for patients. Despite these extraordinarily challenging times, EATRIS operations do continue: we are busy with the implementation of our scientific and EU-funded projects, deepening of our collaboration with BBMRI and ECRIN, and exploring new public-private partnerships through online partnering meetings.

Some of our activities are of course necessarily affected by this crisis and required the following adjustments:

  • EATRIS Coordination and Support Office revised communications policy

Our EATRIS community is particularly under strain. Therefore, we decided to minimise non-essential communications to those in our infrastructure that are involved in the fight. Besides clinicians, this includes lab researchers, who are closely supporting the Health Care practitioners in rapid validation and development of processes, diagnostics and therapeutic strategies (also directly supporting in clinic), as well as our governing board members who work at health or research ministries.

  • Volunteering opportunities for team members

EATRIS Executive Board has allowed team members who want to volunteer to help their community to do so on their working time as long as impact on ongoing operations is controlled and that staff abides by safety rules.

Toni Andreu, EATRIS Scientific Director and M.D, is currently dedicating some of his time to volunteer in the clinic to support Spain, his home country, in the fight against COVID-19.