“Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in Lille have recently identified a molecule that is particularly effective – in vitro – against the SARS-Cov-2 virus,” said in a press release the Institute, a private research foundation recognized as being of public utility. To “continue their work” and “confirm the effectiveness of this treatment, researchers must now proceed to clinical trials as soon as possible,” he adds. The planned “large-scale” clinical trial will be funded by an “exceptional contribution” from the luxury group LVMH, which “came into contact” with the establishment “upon the announcement of its first results on this work”.
According to Professor Xavier Nassif, Director General of the Institut Pasteur de Lille quoted in the press release, “it is thanks to the mobilization of donors and companies that the Institut Pasteur de Lille was able to initiate this fight against Covid- 19.
The molecule presented by the management of the institute as “very promising” was identified by the start-up Apteeus, hosted by the Institute and specializing in the repositioning of drugs, which has screened 2,000 of them, already given to humans. This molecule, which seems to have great power against the virus, “will be unparalleled if it is shown to work in vivo,” Xavier Nassif told AFP at the end of September. Belonging to the category of antivirals, it is used in a drug which is currently available “only in certain countries of Europe”, according to him.
“It is vital that this research can continue and it is for this purpose that I have decided to provide support for this crucial phase of clinical trials”, explains Bernard Arnault, quoted in the press release. The Institut Pasteur de Lille invests 17 million euros each year in research thanks to donations, bequests and corporate sponsorship.