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André Losch Fondation supports research on COVID-19

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Published on Thursday, 23 April 2020

André Losch Fondation announced its participation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting Research Luxembourg with one of its most significant donations yet. The foundation’s commitment of 1,4 million euros will help financing three COVID-19 studies currently underway in Luxembourg: the CON-VINCE study, aiming to evaluate the dynamics of the spread of the disease within Luxembourg; the Predi-COVID study, dedicated to finding predictive markers for disease severity; and a study that develops statistical projections and modelling of the epidemic. On top of this André Losch Fondation will also provide financing for four vans that will allow nurses to collect tissue samples of study participants, thereby sparing them a trip to the hospital.

The largest part of this donation will go towards the Grand-Duchy’s main two COVID-19 research studies both launched under the umbrella of Research Luxembourg, a joint initiative of the main players in the public research sector. The CON-VINCE study was launched on 9 April to generate accurate data on the prevalence and transmission of the disease in Luxembourg. The Predi-COVID project is a stratification study focusing on risk factors that play a role in disease progression. Its main objective is to identify clinical, epidemiological and molecular characteristics associated with the severity of the symptoms. A third project supported by the donation will allow a research group to work on statistical simulations of the evolution, impact and spread of the pandemic to facilitate decision-making. “The research community in the country is fully invested in the fight against the epidemic, and this generous donation will help us tremendously to accomplish what we set out to do,” states Prof. Ulf Nehrbass, head of the Research Luxembourg task force.

André Losch Fondation: A long-standing relationship with research

André Losch created the foundation in 2009 with a general mission to support philanthropic projects in Luxembourg, with a particular focus on the fields of education, social cohesion, scientific research and health.

Since then, the foundation has continuously supported biomedical research projects in the Grand-Duchy, most of them studying childhood diseases. In 2014 it supported a project of a young PhD student at the Luxembourg University for the team of Prof Paul Wilmes who investigated the role of gut microbes on the health and development of newborn babies. As the base-support of the project didn’t suffice to carry out the project at a large enough scale, André Losch Fondation stepped in, recognising the importance of this research topic. Thanks to the foundation’s substantial donation, the study was carried out successfully and resulted in a Nature Communications publication providing global visibility of this project’s research outcomes. In 2015, shortly before his death, Mr Losch wanted to get more involved in the national effort to support Parkinson’s disease patients. Through his foundation, he donated a customised laboratory on wheels, allowing nurses to do home visits to Parkinson’s patients who participate in the national cohort study. More recently André Losch Fondation supported research on rare childhood diseases in the laboratory of Dr Carole Linster at the University’s LCSB.

Building on this trusted and long-standing relationship with the academic community, André Losch Fondation has now joined the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “The object of our foundation is to support philanthropic projects within the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Our board felt strongly about the importance to make a significant contribution to the national research effort during this crisis,” explains Pit Reckinger, chairman of the foundation’s board. “This perfectly fits our mission to contribute to social cohesion in Luxembourg, while at the same time supporting young local researchers in their important COVID-19 research.