Only a few days ago, the Lundbeck Foundation decided to earmark DKK 30 million for research projects targeting the coronavirus pandemic. Applications have poured in over the past few days, and with a grant worth DKK 5 million, the first project is ready to go.
The Lundbeck Foundation is renowned for providing funding for brain research in particular, and the process for awarding grants to research projects of this kind usually takes several months. However, in this exceptional situation, the Lundbeck Foundation has waived its strategy and is overriding standard procedures to ensure that the projects receiving money deliver the best possible benefit to the many patients already infected with COVID-19.
The first DKK 5 million goes to a research team at Aarhus University. They will investigate whether a known heartburn drug can slow the effects of COVID-19. 180 patients in Danish hospitals will participate in the trial.
‘We find ourselves in a highly exceptional and acute situation. Focused efforts are required from all social stakeholders, and naturally this includes the research-funding commercial foundations,’ says Jan Egebjerg.
‘This was an obvious project to support: it’s based on an approved drug – for heartburn – proven in foreign studies to have an effect on SARS in mice. Since SARS and COVID-19 have certain commonalities, it’s important to test the drug in humans. This project highlights the acute nature of our announcement of the DKK 30 million. We hope to receive applications for projects with the potential to have an impact right here and now; either in this or in the next wave of the pandemic. And this project can start up next week if the authorities give the necessary authoritisation.’
For further information (Lundbeck Foundation):
Jan Egebjerg, Director of Research at the Lundbeck Foundation
Regitze Reeh, Head of Communications at the Lundbeck Foundation