CAPNETZ is becoming European

CAPNETZ is becoming European. Today, CAPNETZ has partners in Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, and The Netherlands. Accordingly, local clinical centers are not only located in several German cities but also in Vienna, Basel, Hillerød, and Maastricht.

This ‘Europeanization’ of CAP-research has only been made possible by the creation of an advanced organizational infrastructure. For example, an internet-based communication platform has been launched to ensure professional study management including central data archiving as well as an effective exchange of information between CAPNETZ-partners. Both the unified biobank of diagnostic materials in Hannover  and the CAPNETZ-office as central service unit are other important key elements of CAPNETZ. Based on this infrastructure, CAPNETZ has built a comprehensive database containing clinical information on more than 10,000 CAP-patients (status as of 2012).

With the development of European CAPNETZ, CAPNETZ is planning to take a further step to intensify the process of Europeanization. The aim is to generate a European network consisting of hospitals and microbiological laboratories in at least 10 countries that cooperate to collect and archive CAP-data and samples. The resulting database will contain demographic and clinical data, relevant information on biomaterials (blood culture, sputum, urine, nasopharyngeal lavage, DNA samples), as well as data on microbial epidemiology. Additionally, European CAPNETZ will create a structure that ensures a smooth flow of information from basic research to clinicians, community-based physicians, and the public – all over Europe. Joint research and educational programs will further help to define transnational standards of diagnosis and treatment of CAP. The well-established infrastructure of CAPNETZ will provide the necessary organizational resources.
In the near future, it will therefore be possible to collect and analyze data at a European level and, moreover, to conduct pan-European multicentric trials. In addition, a strong cooperation with industry partners from all over Europe might foster the development of new diagnostic tools (e.g. biomarkers) and therapeutic interventions. European CAPNETZ is in accordance with European Union (EU) policies regarding the reduction of drug resistance and the control of pneumococcal infections.

With the participation in PREPARE, an EU-funded program to ensure rapid clinical research responses to future infectious disease epidemics in Europe, CAPNETZ takes another step towards transnational research (PREPARE: Platform foR European Preparedness Against (Re-) emerging Epidemics). The major aim of PREPARE is to bridge the gap between basic research (including data collection and analysis) and healthcare. The specific objectives are to detect outbreaks with epidemic potential as early as possible and to deploy shared resources across Europe that enable a rapid and adequate response to future threats. These objectives base on the fact that clinical research efforts have been too slow during recent epidemics, and, moreover, transnational corporations have not sufficiently been established. CAPNETZ will contribute to the success of PREPARE by sharing both its infrastructure including trial sites and its experiences in trial management.