The call for proposals of innovative solutions to fight COVID19 has been launched on March 19 2020 by French Ministry of the Armed Forces, through the Agency for defense innovation (AID). About 2580 projects have been received by AID for this call for proposals, finished on April 12th. The aim was to identify innovative and short-term solutions to fight COVID19, in various areas such as protection, disinfection, medical supplies, diagnostics, support to the medical care or crisis management.
37 projects have been selected and among them, 24 are developed by companies and laboratories, 13 by staff from French Ministry of the Armed Forces or Nationale Gendarmerie. For a total budget of 10 millions of euros, the funded projects are being formalized, developed or for some of them already established to fight the pandemic.
ProtectDiag program, driven by ArkAb and its parent company B Cell Design, is to develop and manufacture in vitro diagnostic tests to detect protective immune defenses against COVID19.
First, raw materials will be developed and validated as positive controls for the detection of antibodies IgG/IgA/IgM directed against SARS-COV2 virus.
Then, serological immunoassays will be developed for the detection of protective antibodies IgG/IgA neutralizing SARS-COV2 virus.
This funding shows once again the recognition of B Cell Design's and ArkAb's expertise and know-how.