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Last update: May 2021

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FéRI projects

FéRI’s mobilisation to fight COVID-19

FéRI research teams are engaged in numerous projects and initiatives to help healthcare professionals and fight the pandemic. Below a non-exhaustive list of projects with FéRI’s teams participation.

Projects led by FéRI teams:

- C Lim Covid: project led by Limoges University Hospital (P3 containment laboratory) and UMR1092 as part of the C-Lim structure. Development of antiviral assays for the evaluation and study of the mechanism of action and the toxicity of antivirals or Covid-19 inhibitor compounds. Association tests.
Possible application to tissue infection models, based on the work of the CNR Herpes virus on placental and ocular models. Implementation of neutralisation tests. Study of viral variants in cell culture (NGS). Ongoing trials of novel molecules and known molecules on Covid-19 and other coronaviruses. Collaborative projects in progress. Request for additional funding underway within the CARE framework.

- IMPACT_COVID: Translational study to analyse the immune response in Covid + patients (within the regulatory framework of the "Impact" protocol - Identifier: NCT03379207) associating the CEPR-U1100 and the medicine and intensive care units of the Tours and Limoges University Hospitals.

- Project within the ANRS 2020 COVID-19 SUD call on cGAS/STING dependent cytokine storm and ARDS by COVID infection, submitted by INEM unit with Sao Paulo University (Brazil), collaborators of the International Associated Laboratory (LIA) INEM-USP in Orléans (Valérie Quesniaux, José Alves-Filho).

- Work from teams in Poitiers:SEROCOVID project on the antibody response, its kinetics and the neutralising nature of the antibodies produced; GYNECOVID project on the exploration of unexplained in-utero fetal deaths; work on the viro-induced inflammatory response and the anti-COVID activities of actors of the innate immune response produced by epithelial cells (antimicrobial peptides and ISG); and on the dermatological manifestations of the disease (ACROVID project: Analysis of the profile of acrosyndromes occurring in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic).

- COR_MET :  Program to develop an innovative therapeutic option against SARS-Cov-2 based on targeting the host's metabolic response. It involves the UMR-CEPR 1100 in collaboration with the UMR MAVIVH 1259 (level 3 containment laboratory).

- CAPECOVID Hospital Clinical Research Program (PHRC): "Community-Acquired Pneumonia: Evaluation of COrticosteroids in COronaVIrus Disease". This program is an extension of the current PHRC called CAPE-CODE and coordinated by PF. Dequin from the intensive care unit of Tours University Hospital and CEPR-U1100.

- EuroCov : is a multicentric observational study coordinated by S. Laribi (emergency department of Tours University Hospital and CEPR-U1100) within the research network of the European society of Emergency Medicine on the care of suspected patients Covid-19 in emergency units.

- Project on the development of a prognosis score for covid-19 infection by the Pneumology department of the Tours University Hospital.

- COVAP : Poitiers University Hospital (U1070) is the leader of this project which aims to compare the frequency of different bacteria - multidrug-resistant (BMR / BHRe) or not - responsible for ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients infected or not by SARS-CoV-2 within samples taken between March 15 and April 15, 2020, from which one or more bacteria were significantly isolated.

- INEM proposal submitted on the COVID-19 Research Analysis Expertise (CARE) website set up by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation concerning the potential role of DNA recognition in the ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) associated with COVID-19. Link to the CARE-COVID19 survey :

- Recycling of face masks: MASK_COVID: recycling test of medical protective masks by heat - "proof of concept" study and collaboration of CEPR-U1100 with the infectious diseases department (L. Bernard), microbiology department (P. Lanotte), and electron microscopy platform (P. Roingeard), CHU and University of Tours). This project is also integrated into the work of the national task force “Re-Use surgical masks and FFP2 (N95)”. Link:

- FEDER EUROFERI: Host-Directed Therapy; development of agonists of the cGAS/STING pathway, the activation of which could inhibit or slow down Covid-19, at an early stage (ICOA partner (University of Orleans - CNRS), INEM (University of Orleans - CNRS), CPER (University of Tours - INSERM), ISP (University of Tours - INRAe).

- Covikin: evaluation of selective kinase inhibitors from pathways impacting the cytoskeleton as a suppressor of covid-19 entry (ICOA partners (University of Orleans - CNRS), CBM (CNRS - University of Orleans).

Supply of equipment, staff and funds

- Counting - at the CNRS Regional Delegation level - of out of delivery materials out at the Orléans CHRO: INEM and Artimmune provided GoSript Kit for 600 PCR tests; 19,000 pairs of gloves; 4,000 microtubes; 200 surgical masks; 200 FFP2 masks; 500 mobcaps; 10 protective glasses; 80 suits; 15 gowns; 800 over-shoes (Logistics Marc Le Bert, Arnaud Menuet, Sylvain Briault).

- Donations made by the Nouzilly INRAE ​​center to the Tours University Hospital from the epidemic start: gloves, masks, overcoats and various materials. PFIE and the various teams from the INRAE ​​center contributed to these donations.

- INEM supplied 60L of technical Ethanol, 50L of Isopropanol, 8L of Glycerol to manufacture hydroalcoholic gel for Poitiers (Marc Le Bert Logistics, Arnaud Menuet, CNRS Regional Delegation Center Val de Loire - Poitou Charentes).

- Tube and boxes donations from the Nouzilly INRAE ​​center to the ISP-BRMF team from Philippe Lanotte (around 1,700 tubes) and more than 120 freezer boxes to continue sampling patients from the various clinical studies on COVID-19 in which Tours University Hospital takes part.

- Provision of 10 INEM employees with technical skills to contribute to PCR testing for COVID-19 screening, or any other necessary activity: 2 people started on 16/4/2020 in CHRO. Centrifuge and microcentrifuge were loaned to CHRO in support of this effort.

- Participating in the Crowdfight COVID-19 platform on (Stéphane Mortaud, Marc Le Bert).

- Manufacture of protective visors using 3D printing (Maryvonne Ardourel) with the CHRO, Action Sciences Jargeau and the FabLab in Orléans.

- Pharmaceutical companies members of Polepharma have donated masks, gowns and other materials. Some have also launched hydroalcoholic gel production.

- The various laboratories of the University of Orleans (including ICOA, INEM, CBM, LBLGC, members of FéRI), and of the CNRS campus mobilised themselves to collect masks, gloves, over-blouses, over-shoes, enzymes and thus support CHRO, ARS, Union of pharmacists, doctors, pharmacists, liberal nurses. On the balance sheet (04/27/2020), the following were transferred to these beneficiaries: more than 15,000 masks (of which 6,000 were sent by the Chinese university partner of the Confucius Institute / University of the South Center in Changsha); nearly 70,000 gloves; more than 5,000 blouses, over-blouses, over-shoes; 4,500 caps, caps, protective glasses; more than 300 visors; production of 200 L solution and 400 bottles of hydroalcoholic gel by ICOA and the company Glycodiag, as well as by IUT Orléans; production of visors using 3D printers (FabLab Polytech and IUT Orléans).

Participation of our teams in projects / initiatives

- Muriel Vayssier (Director of the Animal Health Department, Nouzilly INRAE) is a member of the Comité d’Analyse Recherche Expertise (CARE) COVID-19. The purpose of this Committee is to advise  the French public authorities within a very short time on scientific, therapeutic and technological innovations. Link :

- French Covid-19 cohort, Inserm : involvement of Tours University Hospital (CIC, S2MI, Virology Unit and CRBT) and Poitiers University Hospital. This cohort work on capturing clinical and virological data from COVID-19 cases who will be hospitalized in structures with a CIC or a CRU and characterising the host's responses to the infection and the therapies.

- The Rheumatology Unit from Tours University Hopital is participating in the French Society of Rheumatology COVID-19 cohort program for patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatism: the SFR is recording observations of COVID-19 infection in patients with auto-immune or auto-inflammatory diseases, with the ambition of being able to inform us collectively and quickly about possible alerts, or reassuring concepts.

- Participation of the Poitiers, Limoges, Tours and Orléans university hospitals in the HYCOVID project: Hydroxychloroquine vs placebo in patients with COVID-19 infection at risk of secondary aggravation.

- Participation of the Poitiers University Hospital in clinical trials on azithromycin and acute pneumonia in the emergency unit.

- Poitiers CHU is taking part in the PHRC TDM-COVID-19 (Prognostic role of thoracic computed tomography during infection with Coronavirus (COVID-19)) carried out by Bordeaux University Hospital.

- COVIFAB : development of an anti-COVID immunotherapy delivered by aerosol. Lead: Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Biotherapy (IRMB); partners: IRCM, Montpellier, CEPR-Inserm U1100 in Tours.

- N-CAR : potential contribution of the nebulized heparan OTR4120 mimetic to treat patients with ARDS associated with COVID-19. CEPR-Inserm U1100 is a partner in a public-private project with OTR3 SAS (ANR AAP Flash COVID and interregional PHRC).

- COVID'Anesthésie : prospective cohort of SFAR, the French Society of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, which identifies all COVID + patients or suspects who should benefit from an anesthesia procedure (general or loco-regional). The objective is to determine whether these patients are at increased risk of developing a respiratory complication during the 7 days following an anesthesia procedure. Participation of teams from Poitiers University Hospital.

- ANP-RdRp: evaluation of a new family of broad-spectrum antivirals on cell replication of Covid-19 and inhibition of the viral polymerase RdRp (partner ICOA (University of Orléans - CNRS), RESINFIT (University of Limoges - INSERM - CHU Limoges) and UVE (IRD - Aix-Marseille University)