The UGA Foundation helps launch a research project to anticipate and treat severe cases of Covid-19

On the  April 16, 2020
UGA Foundation - Covid 19
A team of scientists and doctors from Université Grenoble Alpes University Hospital and Université Grenoble Alpes launched a bioclinical research on Covid-19 at the end of March, which was made possible thanks to the support of the UGA Foundation and its sponsors. The project brought in 160,000 euros in donations in just two weeks thanks to the support of the the Air Liquide Foundation, Caisse d'Epargne Rhône-Alpes, bioMérieux, the MGEN of Banque Populaire AURA, the Compagnie de Chauffage and GEG.

"Some patients suffering from CoViD-19 present a severe form of the disease around the 8th day, a respiratory impairment responsible for almost all current stays in intensive care. Our goal is to better understand this late onset aggravation in order to better anticipate and manage it," says Pr Epaulard Olivier, an infectious diseases specialist at Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, who is co-leading the project with Dr Audrey Le Gouellec and Pr Bertrand Toussaint, both medical biologists at CHUGA and researchers at the TIMC-IMAG laboratory (CNRS, UGA, Grenoble INP-UGA). 

Équipe étude biomarqueurs COVID-19

Photo of the team carrying out the scientific project. From left to right: Bertrand Toussaint, university professor, hospital practitioner in medical biology UGA/CHUGA, Olivier Epaulard, PUPH in infectious diseases UGA/CHUGA, Audrey Le Gouellec, Lecturer, hospital practitioner in medical biochemistry (UGA/CHUGA).

The aim is to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon of secondary "runaway" of the immune system and to adapt the management of these patients before their condition worsens, in particular by using specific immunity drugs. This study should make it possible to identify predictive biomarkers to guide the use of such immunomodulatory therapies in the short and medium terms. Up to 25% of patients could benefit from an adapted treatment that would improve their vital prognosis. It is also a long-term response to a major public health issue, namely the collection and processing of a single database of various health data (clinical, biological, imaging, etc.) that can be shared between centers and used for modern algorithmic approaches. 

Sponsors strongly committed to UGA Foundation

The UGA Foundation has been supporting this project since its inception, and had already released an emergency aid of €20,000 in March. "In this period of pandemic, the social utility of the UGA Foundation is embodied in this emergency support action of our Grenoble scientists. I would like here to recognize the remarkable work of our researchers and to thank all the donors who immediately answered present to contribute to the financing of this bioclinical research on the biomarkers of CoVID-19," underlines Patrick Lévy, President of the Foundation. Indeed, the patron partners of the UGA Foundation have been incredibly supportive: Air Liquide Foundation, Caisse d'Epargne Rhône-Alpes, bioMérieux, Banque Populaire AURAMGEN, and two local public companies, the Compagnie de Chauffage and GEG, have together raised more than €160,000 to date, and the scientific study was able to start in early April. Almost 200 patients have taken part in extensive biological explorations so far.

"The Air Liquide Foundation naturally supports this project because it fits perfectly with its CoVID-19 action and continues its collaboration with the UGA Foundation," comments Jean-Marc de Royere, Chairman of the Air Liquide Foundation.  

"Participating in this bioclinical study on CoViD-19 seems essential to us and perfectly in line with our historical support for health research and innovation, of which the UGA Foundation and Grenoble's scientific community are an essential link," according to Roland Berthilier, Chairman of the MGEN Group. 

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Published on  April 16, 2020
Updated on May 18, 2020