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What is Virgil

by zope1last modified 2006-03-27 08:55

slide and video presentation

VIRGIL (for vigilance against viral resistance) is the first-ever European surveillance network capable of addressing current and emerging antiviral drugs resistance developments. Coordinated by Inserm (the French Institute for Health and Medical Research), the network’s activities started in May 2004 supported by a €9 millions/4-year grant from the European Commission, with the initial task to integrate the fragmented European capacities and best expertise in the field into a single coherent Network of Excellence (it initially gathered 55 organizations, including 7 companies and more than 60 laboratories from 12 countries). Focusing first on three major diseases (influenza and viral hepatitis B and C), its mission is to build a sustainable, patient-oriented ‘virtual institute’ structured into interacting platforms that together will allow the containment of the problem of viral drug resistance. Being approach- rather than virus-based, the integration process and the developed tools are flexible enough to embrace in the future drug resistance problems related to all kind of human viruses.
VIRGIL is structured into seven platforms centered around the patients and each focusing on a topic contributing towards the project objectives: the VIRGIL surveillance and clinical virology platforms (VIRGIL-SURVEIL and VIRGIL-CLINVIR) allow a global approach for monitoring, testing and ultimately improving the management of antiviral drug resistance in treated patients, leading to outstanding practices and standards in Europe. These activities are strengthened by new knowledge generated from both the in vitro and in vivo models platform (VIRGIL-MODELS), which provides new tools to understand the mechanisms of the resistance development and to assess viral resistance in clinical samples with new assays, and the host determinants platform (VIRGIL-HOST) aiming at understanding patient-related immune/genetic factors conditioning the viral resistance to therapy. Moreover, a platform dedicated to drugs and pharmacology (VIRGIL-DRUGPHARM) and a platform for innovation and technology (VIRGIL-INNOTECH) help to anticipate viral or host resistance against promising drugs close to clinical application and to overcome future resistance problems by proposing to the private sector more rational approaches for developing drugs and monitoring therapy. Furthermore, the VIRGIL-IMPACT platform evaluates the societal impact of drug resistances in terms of morbidity, monitoring and treatment costs, and assesses the cost/benefit of different approaches to prevent or combat the problem at the European level, with the objective to improve both medicine and the quality of life of the patients.
Lastly, its centralized management unit offers to industrial partners a single contact point as well as integrated services for large-scale clinical trials and is committed to training students and researchers within and outside of the network and to spreading VIRGIL’s practices of excellence and the resulting knowledge in the medical community and the general population.

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