ESCMID weekly news 30.06.2020

30 June 2020: ESCMID Weekly News
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30 June 2020

Dear colleagues,

Please find below the latest edition of ESCMID Weekly News.

With kind regards,
ESCMID Executive Office.


Clinical Microbiology and Infection – Updated Impact Factor

Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI), the official journal of ESCMID, has seen its Impact Factor rise from 6.425 to 7.117, placing the journal 15th/114 in the Microbiology category and 4th/93 in the Infectious Diseases category.

This higher Impact Factor is a reflection of the hard work done by the CMI Editorial Board and Administrative Office.

CMI is welcoming your scientific works on COVID-19. See the CMI Website with information for authors for comprehensive instructions on the formats and requirements for submission of manuscripts for inclusion.

We look forward to having your work further contribute to the long history of science presented in CMI, both now and into the future.

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TAE Steering Committee nominations are now open

The call has been released for nominations for new TAE Steering Committee (TAE SC) members with a background in Infectious Diseases. The vacancies are for a three-year term (January 2021- December 2023) will be filled with new members, who will be elected in July/August 2020. The call for candidates is open from now until Thursday, 23 July 2020, 12:00 noon CEST. We ask all interested ESCMID Young Scientist Members below 35 years of age to submit their documents via the following link, which also describes the complete process and eligibility criteria.

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ESCMID Research Grants 2021: apply now!

ESCMID Research Grants help young outstanding investigators pursue ground-breaking research in the fields of clinical microbiology and infectious diseases.

The application period for ESCMID Research Grants 2021 is open and the deadline for submitting your applications is 15 September 2020.
For this call, only projects dealing with Fungal / Viral / Parasitic Infections and Diseases (incl. diagnostics, pathogenesis, antifungal/antiviral/antiparasitic susceptibility & resistance, stewardship, vaccines) will be accepted.

For further information click here and please also see the Research Grants FAQ.

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The second version of the “ESCMID manual for clinical practice guidelines and other guidance documents” is now online

The document originally issued in September 2019 by the ESCMID guidelines subcommittee, has now been updated following the comments received during the Public Consultation Phase opened In January 2020.

We would like to thank all the ESCMID members who participated, for their contribution in improving this document.

You can download the document here.

For more information, please visit the ESCMID guidelines webpage.

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Academia developing medicines for rare diseases to receive free EMA scientific advice

The EMA is pleased to inform you about the decision to waive all fees for scientific advice for academic researchers developing orphan medicines, to further encourage the development of treatments for rare diseases.

The academic sector plays an important role in the development of innovative medicines for rare diseases. Early interaction with EU regulators is important for academia to understand the regulatory requirements and allow the generation of robust evidence needed to establish the medicines’ benefits and risks. This helps them to navigate the regulatory process and ultimately to translate their discoveries into authorised, patient-focused medicines.

Eligible applicants will include public or private higher education establishments awarding academic degrees, public or private non-profit research organisations whose primary mission is to pursue research, and international European interest organisations. These entities should not be financed or managed by private for-profit organisations in the pharmaceutical sector or have concluded any agreement with pharmaceutical companies concerning their sponsorship or participation to a specific research project for which a fee exemption is sought.

Please check the news item on the EMA’s website, or view the dedicated posts on Twitter and LinkedIn for more information regarding the academic fee waiver.

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GARDP Webinar: Clinical development of antimicrobials – Phase 1 development challenges

Don’t miss the GARDP webinar ‘Clinical development of antimicrobials – Phase 1 development challenges’, currently taking place on the GARDP website.

The webinar is presented by EPASG Board Member Prof. Markus Zeitlinger, from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Medical University of Vienna (Austria).

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EMA communication: First COVID-19 treatment recommended for EU authorisation

EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation to Veklury (remdesivir) for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents from 12 years of age with pneumonia who require supplemental oxygen.

Remdesivir is the first medicine against COVID-19 to be recommended for authorisation in the EU. Data on remdesivir were assessed in an exceptionally short timeframe through a rolling review procedure, an approach used by EMA during public health emergencies to assess data as they become available.

The European Commission, which was kept informed by EMA throughout the evaluation, will fast-track the decision-making process and aims to grant a decision on the conditional marketing authorisation for remdesivir in the coming week, allowing the product to be marketed in the EU.

For more information, please consult our press release. Please check EMA’s dedicated webpage on COVID-19 for the latest updates.

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CMI highlight: Large-scale implementation of pooled RNA extraction and RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 detection

Testing for active SARS-CoV-2 infection is a fundamental tool in the public health measures taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the overwhelming use of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests worldwide, availability of test kits has become a major bottleneck, while the need to increase testing throughput only rises. This study aims to overcome these challenges by pooling samples together, performing RNA extraction and RT-PCR in pools.

The authors tested the efficiency and sensitivity of pooling strategies for RNA extraction and RT-PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2. 184 samples were analysed both individually and in pools to estimate the effects of pooling. Dorfman pooling with a pool size of 8 samples in large-scale clinical tests was also further implemented. Form the results obtained by the applied pooling strategies, it is possible to conclude that such approaches for SARS-CoV-2 testing allow a drastic increase in throughput while maintaining clinical sensitivity. Furthermore, future improvement of the sensitivity of the test, such as better sets of primers and improved sample collection will allow retaining sensitivity even when pooling many sample lysates together. This will enable further improving efficiency, especially when prevalence is low, by increasing the pool size.

› Read more

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The ESCMID Newsletter is issued on behalf of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) by the ESCMID Executive Office. It contains announcements of ESCMID-related matters and other information of interest to professionals in the infection field.

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