Press Release

19.08.2020

500,000 Euro to predict the course of Covid-19

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding lung researchers at the ILBD/CPC-M.

In the COMBAT C19IR study, a team of scientists and clinicians from the fields of lung research, proteome analysis, virology as well as medical and bioinformatics is investigating the mechanisms and complications of Covid-19 diseases in an international collaboration with a focus on Munich: Anne Hilgendorff and Jürgen Behr, group leaders at the DZL Munich site (CPC-M) will lead the clinical part.

The goal: to understand the individual courses of Covid-19 disease and characterize them using clinical parameters and blood-based biomarkers in order to develop a targeted therapy and aftercare for the patients.

Using models of artificial intelligence, the researchers hope to identify factors that determine the course and severity of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. To do so, they are combining a unique data set consisting of the following individual components:

  • Clinical course of the patients
  • Co-infecting viruses and microbes that influence the severity
  • Biological response of the patient measured by his blood plasma proteome

The study also examines the biological conditions that make a patient a risk patient and the role of existing lung diseases. The patients are accompanied for a longer period of time after their discharge and their state of health is checked. The results will then be compared with the recovery process of other similarly symptomatic diseases such as influenza or pneumonia.

Scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Deutsches Zentrum für Lungenforschung, Asklepios Fachklinik München-Gauting, Technische Universität München and Johns Hopkins University (USA) are involved in the study.

Narges Ahmidi and Benjamin Schubert (Johns Hopkins University/Institute of Computational Biology) are responsible for the development of the AI-supported methods to predict the rate of recovery. Li Deng and Stephanie Hauck are in charge of the analysis of the virom- and microbiome data and the blood plasma proteome data.