Three New UCPH Projects Receive Funding from the Government to Fight COVID-19
The government has allocated another DKK 100 million for research and development in the fight against coronavirus, and in this connection three new research projects at the University of Copenhagen are receiving government funding.
In March the Danish government decided to earmark DKK 50 million for research into coronavirus. Now the government, together with all parties in the Danish Parliament, has decided to allocate another DKK 100 million for research and development in the fight against coronavirus.
The money will go to 10 new research projects, but it is also the plan that part of the total of DKK 150 million will be used to support small and medium-sized companies with innovation and development projects that can help the society during the corona crisis.
- Research is crucial in the fight against coronavirus. Therefore, I am pleased that all parties in the Parliament are in favour of granting additional funding so that we can get started on some research projects that can produce quick results. Denmark has some of the world's leading researchers who can help to provide knowledge and find solutions that may benefit patients, the healthcare system – indeed, the entire society, says the Minister for Higher Education and Science Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen in a press release from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
Researchers from several Danish universities and hospitals are behind the 10 new research projects that will receive funding of between DKK 750,000 and DKK 7.4 million.
Several of the research projects include clinical research and are looking at the possibility of treating hospitalised COVID-19 patients with various, already known, drugs. If the attempt to find a well-known drug is successful, it will ensure quick treatment, and the possible side effects will already be known.
- It has been crucial for the government to act quickly. Therefore, in the evaluation of the projects, it has been emphasised that the research projects can start up immediately. Denmark and the rest of the world are in a most extraordinary situation. That is why it is important that we act quickly. I am very pleased that we can provide a special grant for the research projects so they can get started right away. In this way, valuable research results will benefit us all as quickly as possible, says Minister of Higher Education and Science Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen in the press release.
Read more about the research projects at the University of Copenhagen:
The project group will, through machine learning models based on Danish registry data, identify cancer patients who are at high risk of having a surgically complicated course of treatment, including hospitalisation in intensive care units. Their course of treatment during the corona pandemic can be targeted at preparing them for surgery via optimisation outside the hospital.
The project uses artificial intelligence to predict the course of the disease for COVID-19 patients. Based on medical records, gene analyses (genome sequencing) as well as detailed studies of the immune system, the project will develop a model that can predict which patients will need intensive and respiratory care. The project will enable rapid risk assessment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients with a view to early and customised treatment. This can improve the individual patient's chances of survival and optimise the consumption of resources. In addition, the importance of genetics and immune systems in connection with COVID-19 will be uncovered so that new treatment options can be identified.
Associate Professor Morten Scheibye-Knudsen, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen
The mortality in 80-year-old COVID-19 patients is approximately 100 times higher than in 30-year-old patients. This project will treat elderly patients with a vitamin B-like substance as well as uncover which factors make the elderly vulnerable in connection with COVID-19. Overall, the project can provide a possible treatment of COVID-19 and an understanding of why the elderly are especially vulnerable to this virus.