Funding Programme for COVID-19 Medicines

On 19 May 2021 the Federal Council approved a funding programme for COVID-19 medicines. Of the four projects originally supported by the FOPH, one remains in the funding programme.

The framework conditions of the funding programme approved by the Federal Council are as follows:

  • The funded projects contribute to the secure and rapid provision of COVID-19 medicines for Switzerland.
  • The projects have a high level of potential for clinical innovation.
  • The subsidiarity and necessity of the support must be guaranteed.
  • The development plan must be robust and of high scientific quality.
  • Applicants must demonstrate relevant expertise in pharmaceutical development projects and present a convincing business plan.
  • The federal government must obtain pre-defined considerations in return (in particular a purchase option/right of first refusal).
  • Applications should be assessed in a transparent and equitable manner.

Funding for the development of originally four medicines

During its session on 30 June 2021, the Federal Council mandated the FOPH, with the support of Innosuisse, to implement the funding programme. The call for applications started on 19 July and closed on 16 August 2021.

The nine funding applications received were evaluated by experts on behalf of Innosuisse and the FOPH. Based on these evaluations, the FOPH decided at the end of October 2021 to fund four applications.
At the beginning of December 2021, the FOPH signed contracts with the companies Memo Therapeutics AG, Kinarus AG, Noorik Biopharmaceuticals AG and GeNeuro SA for a total of approximately CHF 27 million.

Through this programme, the Confederation helped finance the development of a variety of medicines against COVID-19: a monoclonal antibody against the coronavirus, a combination of two substances with antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects, a medicine for reducing respiratory complications, as well as a medicine for the treatment of long-term effects of COVID-19 (post-COVID).

In 2022, the projects for the first three medicines mentioned were cancelled due to insufficient effectiveness. The other project remains in the funding programme which, according to the Federal Council’s decision of 26 April 2023, will continue until no later than the end of June 2024.

Last modification 21.11.2023

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Project Team «Funding programme for COVID-19 medicines»
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Bern

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