IF-EBOla Innovative technologies to Fight Ebola

starting date


end date


duration in months



2 M€


In October 2014 the European Commission (EC) allocated €24.4 million of the European Union (EU) budget to urgently fund needs for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak response and research. This funding has empowered the “EU research and innovation program (EURIP)”, through Horizon 2020, the necessary means to be operational in a short period of time and thus to actively participate in the response to the present EVD outbreak in West Africa. Through this initiative the EURIP has selected and rewarded five projects with scopes ranging from testing existing and novel compounds of interest for EVD treatment to large-scale clinical trials of a potential vaccine.

“The EC with the WHO bringing the international community together in Geneva, (stressed) one of the most important messages is that we need to step up medical research on Ebola" and "These projects enlist the best academic researchers and industry to take the fight to this deadly disease” Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Innovation & Science Commissioner

"We're in a race against time on Ebola, and we must address both the emergency situation and at the same time have a long term response.” José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission.

The IF-Ebola European action (project), one of the five EC funded projects, stands for “Innovative technologies to Fight Ebola” intends to strategically test a novel anti-Ebola compound in early-infected patients (EBOV contacts) as a MEURI, which stands for “Monitored Emergency use of Unregistered and Experimental clinical Intervention” in Sierra Leone and Guinea. Our philosophy can be summarized as follows: “An early passive anti-Ebola immunotherapy prompted by timely EVD-diagnosis, along with appropriate follow-up”.

Our proposal has been designed to efficiently respond to critical needs required by the local African public health authorities under the guidance of the WHO in order to ultimately support response efforts to control the current EVD outbreak.

The project will target main ongoing EVD epidemic areas of Sierra Leone and Guinea. The consortium includes companies and institutions (listed below), which will extend their support to public health authorities, health workers, and laboratory experts responding on site to the EVD outbreak. We thus have established a wide operational consortium of outstanding complementary partners, sharing innovative technological approaches towards a common goal. All phases of the study will be reviewed and implemented following Sierra Leone, Guinea and international ethical approvals and guidance.


Within this framework, our aim is to provide an innovative early treatment based on an accurate early diagnostic under a format of two successive phases:

  • Preparative phase: consolidating ethical authorizations and other required agreements, horse anti-EBOV antibody production, technical and field organization, as well as, in the absence of any existing treatment, starting a follow-up of the homeostatic monitoring of early-EBOV diagnosed contacts and self-cured convalescent individuals by using a unique ultrasensitive virus detection method already validated for various pathogens (USDEP European success story project in 2010). Thus, in this phase, high quality homeostatic parameters from untreated (treatment not available in this period) early-EBOV diagnosed patients and convalescent individuals will be accurately collected to prepare the base (historical data) of the following phase that includes our therapeutic clinical study.
  • Therapeutic trial phase: the consortium will test a widely validated therapeutic approach revisited with an innovative concept that have received a strong support from both the EC/EMA (European Medical Agency) and WHO. After the in vitro and in vivo validation, a pilot passive-immune therapy study based on the administration of multiple GMP doses of highly purified horse anti-EBOV polyclonal F(ab’)2 antibodies to early-diagnosed patients. The number of patients will be adjusted with respect to the ongoing epidemic trend.

As previously demonstrated for different pathogens or toxins, including rabies virus and H5N1 avian influenza virus, it is expected that this approach will positively impact the vital prognostic of early EVD-diagnosed and treated patients. The evolution of their homeostasis parameters will be followed during and after this treatment (once patients become convalescent). Altogether, it is expected to significantly reduce the overall mortality rate.

Moreover, the follow-up study of the homeostasis changes in patients will help us to generate high quality and unique scientific data to understand the EVD pathology observed in this exceptional outbreak. Thus, the therapeutic effects and cure parameters will be mainly followed-up by studying profiles of the: immune-response (Next Generation Sequencing, metagenomics); co-infections (DNA-arrays) including potential negative interactions (e.g.: concurrent malaria, Lassa, infectious respiratory or gastro enteritis syndromes); and, ebolavirus diversity (sequencing and metagenomics).

This program requires a high quality operational organization concurrently set up in partnership with in-country and international health authorities in connection with the members of our consortium who have longstanding experience of EVD outbreaks and that are already present on the ground in Africa.

The project will be set up in appropriate EVD treatment and holding centers in both Sierra Leone and Guinea. To maximize our productivity we seek an open collaboration with persons in charge of local and international institutions. Within the pre-identified sites, besides laboratory and clinical partnerships, we expect to access contact-tracing procedures in compliance with our ethically approved sampling methods to generate the high quality data necessary to assess the current clinical presentation to properly evaluate our early therapeutic intervention.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 666102 . This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Institut de Recherche pour le Développement


Francisco Veas

Ben Gurion University of the Negev


Leslie Lobel

Instituto Nazionale Malattie Infettive L. Spallanzani


Francesco Vairo

Pasteur Institute


Sylvain Baize



Bertrand Lépine

University of Manitoba


Gary Kobinger

Metabiota Inc


Jean-Paul Gonzalez



Willy Valdivia




graph - chart

Number of Work packages


Number of Deliverables


Total efforts planned in the project

147 p*m

Total budget planned in the project

2 M€

Total contribution planned in the project

2 M€

Budget allocation

SME : 62%
Academic : 38%


IF-EBOla — Result In Brief on the EU website


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A project publication is online !


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IF EBOLA updates on the EC website


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IV International Conference on Mitigation Strategies for Emerging Infectious diseases

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IV International Conference on Mitigation Strategies for Emerging Infectious diseases

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International Conference on Mitigation Strategies for Emerging Infectious diseases.

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IF Ebola consortium will be present.


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- March 24-25: Institute of Medicine, Academy of Sciences in Washington DC





Communication for the EU

IF EBOLA highlighted by the European Commission - The European Commission released in March 2015 an overview of its most innovative projects challenging Ebola. The IF EBOLA action is part of the five most innovative European projects.

IF EBOLA updated state of play- 10/08/2015

Resveratrol formulated with a natural deep eutectic solvent inhibits active matrix metalloprotease-9 in hormetic conditions - Scientific article on the optimisation of the RES capacity to inhibit aMMP-9 by using a new class of solvents, natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) for a new RES formulation as compared with dimethyl-sulfoxide (DMSO).