What does the future hold for drugs?

Corona drugs: Federal government donates 50 million euros for research projects

Berlin - The federal government is funding eight research projects to develop drugs against the coronavirus. Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) said on Thursday in Berlin that funding decisions would be made in the next few weeks on the recommendation of the expert committee. The supported scientists pursued, among other things, treatment approaches with various antibodies and an RNA active ingredient.

The government funding program launched at the beginning of the year initially has a volume of 50 million euros. Companies and scientists were able to apply until mid-February. Because some promising research projects needed more time to meet the funding requirements, Karliczek says there will be another submission deadline in the summer.

Karliczek dampens hope for quick breakthroughs in corona drugs

At the same time, the minister dampened hopes for quick breakthroughs. “From the many conversations I was allowed to have with researchers, it has always become very clear: We cannot expect miracles,” she said. The development of drugs usually takes years, sometimes even decades.

Karliczek also underlined the importance of drug research in fighting pandemics. The drugs would also be needed if the majority of people were vaccinated. "Because we have to assume that the virus will continue to accompany us." In addition, not everyone can or does not want to be vaccinated and not all vaccinated persons are fully protected against diseases.

The projects selected for funding are said to be close to clinical development. So they will next be tried on volunteers to verify safety and effectiveness.