The 7 work packages (WP) of the COVIRNA project will bring together various and complementary expertise from consortium partners.
Access to Existing & past COVID-19 Data
In WP1 clinicians and researchers from the biomedical field will provide access to existing cohorts of COVID-19 patients. Blood samples from 1,500 patients and 500 controls will be transferred to a central Associated with document Ref. Ares(2020)5443493 – 13/10/2020 101016072 – COVIRNA – Part B 8 biobank (Firalis) and assessed for lncRNA content using the FIMICS panel previously developed by LIH and Firalis and covering 3,233 lncRNAs (http://www.firalis.com/?page_id=3549).
A Centralised Database
In WP2 lncRNA expression levels in blood samples determined by the FIMICS panel will be merged with clinical data of patients into a harmonized and centralized database, curated and made available for bioinformatics and biostatistics analysis. Clinical data will include at least demographic data, comorbidities, survival, indicators of disease severity and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). The database will be available for sub-studies. A data management plan (DMP) has been defined and will be implemented.
A Predictive Model
In WP3 experts in bioinformatics and biostatistics will jointly analyse and mine the database to define a predictive model. AI methods including machine learning will be deployed. Primary end-point will be survival. Secondary end-point will be MACE defined as a composite of myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, stroke, and hospitalization for heart failure.
In WP4 lncRNAs identified as best predictors of outcome will be investigated for their functional association with the disease and its progression. Basic and translational scientist from the consortium will provide a unified and coordinated effort to discover novel functions of lncRNAs and potentially identify novel therapeutic targets.
In WP5 the COVIRNA IVD test will be CE-marked for prediction of outcome of COVID-19 patients. Marketing and commercialization will be prepared.
Dissemination & Adoption
In WP6 a broad dissemination, communication and exploitation strategy will facilitate project`s outputs uptake, ensure stakeholder commitment and encourage interactions and feedback among partners and other stakeholders, maintain the dissemination plan, disseminate the project results to the scientific community and target end-users, and provide training and capacity building for academics, clinicians and industry.
Project Management & Coordination
WP7 is dedicated to project management and coordination.