DRAGON: A new international project funded by IMI and supported through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation to develop a diagnostics tool combatting coronavirus infections.

Published on: 13 May 2020, under Breath Biopsy

Owlstone Medical is pleased to be supporting the newly launched IMI-funded DRAGON project by exploring the potential to capture and detect COVID-19 on exhaled breath aerosol. The below is the full press release announcing the launch of the project.

The DRAGON project led by OncoRadiomics in partnership with 21 high-tech SMEs, academic research institutes, biotech and pharma partners, affiliated patient-centred organisations and professional societies from Belgium, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, is pleased to announce that its € 11.381.970,00 grant proposal has been selected for funding by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), with an evaluation score placing it in the 95% percentile. DRAGON will apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver a decision support system for improved and more rapid diagnosis and prognosis.

DRAGON will realize a patient centred decision support system that will enable multiple stakeholders to participate in the improved and more rapid diagnosis and prognosis. Furthermore, the power of precision medicine for accelerated development of new therapies will be brought to bear in DRAGON. Citizens and patients will be empowered to contribute to the efficient planning and usage of resources. The project will begin by rapidly delivering a nomogram. Data from the Chinese epidemic will be used to validate and further optimize a European scalable radiological diagnosis/prognosis solution. Existing and new data and sample collection efforts will be used to perform molecular profiling, which – using advanced AI techniques – will be shaped into a precision medicine approach.

The entire effort will be supported by the deployment of a federated machine learning system that will allow for GDPR compliant use of international data resources. The various iterations of the decision support system and the federated machine learning system will be made available to other coronavirus initiatives with the intent to develop a united stakeholder community that forms the foundations of a highly efficient and effective innovation ecosystem.

Wim Vos, DRAGON’s Project Coordinator from OncoRadiomics, said: “DRAGON was set in place in record time without compromising on the quality of the project. I am proud that we could unite such a strong consortium of companies, researchers, hospitals and even patients. We are Looking forward to the next three years as we work to move beyond flattening the curve and towards increasing capacity to handle viral pandemics.”.

The DRAGON project consortium consists of the following partners:

  1. OncoRadiomics, Belgium
  2. Aladdin Healthcare Technologies Ltd, UK
  3. Biosci Consulting Bvba, Belgium
  4. Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, UK
  5. Cdisc Europe Foundation, Belgium
  6. Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy
  7. Universiteit Maastricht, Netherlands
  8. The Medical Cloud Company, Belgium
  9. Sun Yat-Sen University, China
  10. Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital, China
  11. Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, China
  12. Fifth Hospital in Wuhan, China
  13. TopMD Precision Medicine Ltd, UK
  14. European Respiratory Society, Switzerland
  15. European Lung Foundation, UK
  16. Department of Health, UK
  17. Synairgen Research Ltd, UK
  18. The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, UK
  19. Owlstone Medical Limited, UK
  20. The University of Liverpool, UK
  21. University of Southampton, UK
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