The project will make it possible to generate and store scientific data on Covid-19 so as to provide society with evidence of how it affects children and pregnant women.
This support is part of the "Juntos" Solidarity Fund, which is part of the €100 million set aside by Santander to purchase urgently needed medical equipment as well as for research and cooperation with various institutions on the coronavirus.
Madrid, 15 May 2020. PRESS RELEASE
Banco Santander has earmarked €200,000 to the Kids Corona research project, led by Barcelona's Sant Joan de Déu Maternity and Children's Hospital, which is carrying out studies on why children are better protected against this virus than the rest of the population.
This evidence- and clinical experience-based project suggests that children and pregnant women are particularly protected against Covid-19. These two groups are however considered very vulnerable to medium-term social side effects of lockdown – i.e. family, economic and mental health effects.
Children and pregnant women offer a unique opportunity for science to understand why they have a low susceptibility to the disease, potentially pointing the way to therapies in adults. The Kids Corona project aims to generate sound scientific knowledge about these groups. It will create the largest data repository and biobank in the world, with biological information and samples from children and mothers who have come into contact with or have been affected by the virus.
The study, now under way, has samples from 500 volunteer families with children under 15 years of age in which at least one adult has tested positive for the coronavirus. It is based on four lines of research: microbiological, clinical, inflammatory and maternal-foetal. The findings will constitute a valuable and innovative asset for paediatric research, providing critical scientific data about the virus and clearly disseminating all information to society.
For Juanjo García, coordinator of Kids Corona and Head of Paediatrics at Sant Joan de Déu, the end objective is to discover the factors that protect children and find a treatment to extend their natural protection from the Covid-19 to the adult population. We believe children are the key to overcoming this pandemic.”
The Kids Corona research lines are led by Laia Alsina, Pedro Brotons, Clàudia Fortuny, Vicky Fumadó, Lola Gómez, Iolanda Jordán, Cristian Luanes and Carmen Muñoz-Almagro of the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute - Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, as well as Eduard Gratacós, director of BCNatal, and Quique Bassat, paediatrician at IS Global and the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital and a researcher at ICREA.
"Juntos" Solidarity Fund
In March, Banco Santander created a solidarity fund with an initial amount of €25 million, funded with the voluntary contributions of executives from throughout the Group as well as employee contributions of some €54 million thus far. In total, Santander will earmark €100 million to global solidarity initiatives to combat the coronavirus. The funds are being used to purchase medical equipment and to support research into the virus and its effects, especially on the most vulnerable groups, through collaboration with various institutions.