The Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (EKUT) is one of Europe’s oldest universities, with key strengths in the field of Life Sciences. The Institute for Tropical Medicine (ITM) at the University of Tübingen is the competence center for tropical medicine in Baden-Württemberg and specializes in infectious and tropical diseases. The ITM is part of the "Comprehensive Infectious Disease Center" at the University Hospital Tübingen. Together with other locations of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), distinct projects on new therapies, diagnostics and vaccines against infectious diseases are ongoing.
ITM-EKUT is one of the leading institution performing clinical trials in infectious diseases with Clinical Trials Platform (CTP) and in collaboration with partner sites in tropical countries. This platform has been developed to conduct Phase I-IV clinical trials according to ICH-GCP standards, and a number of successful trials have been completed since its foundation. Qualified study physicians, clinical investigators, project managers, study nurses, pharmacists, technicians, and other study staff are experienced members of the CTP team. Currently, ITM-EKUT is conducting four clinical trials on COVID-19 for new therapies and vaccines.
Clinical trials are run with partner institution in Gabon, Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné, CERMEL (www.cermel.org), the former Medical Research Unit of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital. Other affiliated partner institutions with ITM-EUKT are the Fondation Congolaise pour la Recherche Médicale (FCRM) in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo; the Fondation pour la Recherche Scientifique (FORS) in Cotonou, Benin; and the Research Centre and Onchocerciasis Reference Laboratory in Sokode, Togo; the Vietnamese German Center for Medical Research (VGCARE), in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Role in Pandora
ITM-EKUT along with its partner site CERMEL Lambaréné, Gabon is involved in tasks as described in Workpackage 3, especially focusing on three distinct objectives including 3.3- in building capacities to establish studies at specific African site to understand the burden of hospital acquired infections and related antimicrobial resistance (AMR); 3.4 - Etiology of acute febrile illnesses; and 3.5 -Sero-prevalence studies.
A study protocol for evaluation of the seroprevalence of viral diseases has been developed and the study is ongoing. AMR study protocol has been developed by ITM-EKUT to assess measures to reduce the burden of AMR in hospital and in community. ITM-EKUT on the current COVID-19 situation has been instrumental in providing standard operating procedures for diagnoses of SARS-CoV-2 and been strengthening capacity to perform COVID-19 diagnostics for sites in Gabon, Congo and Zambia.