Karam Adelali - 20 Dec 2013
European Commission supports project that will define a new vision for vaccine research in Europe and proposes strategies for its achievement
A group of key European stakeholders has recently been selected by the European Commission (EC) to prepare a comprehensive roadmap on the future of vaccine research and development (R&D) in the European Union (EU). The kick-off meeting of the project took place on December 11th in Brussels where all project partners met to start implementation of the work plan agreed upon for the next two years.
The “Innovation Partnership for a Roadmap on Vaccines in Europe” (IPROVE) – financed under the EU 7th Framework Programme (FP7) – aims to establish a clear vision of the priority innovations and technologies in immunisation necessary to address infectious and non-infectious threats of importance to public health in Europe and beyond. Issues to be addressed will also include vaccines for the ageing population, emerging threats from hospital infections, high incidence of chronic diseases, low levels of prevention awareness and readiness, as well as the suboptimal use of existing cost-effective vaccines across different age groups.
The project will analyse the entire vaccine innovation chain, from needs identification and conceptualisation to discovery and development, including interventions necessary to improve education curricula, and vaccine perception and awareness by the public. The project is considered key to strengthen Europe´s competitiveness and leading position in vaccinology, ensuring that also in the future Europe will maintain its leadership position and capacity to tackle unmet medical needs. Additional goals include favouring a more structured vaccine innovation agenda, tackling changing medical needs and supporting strained healthcare system budgets.
Through a bottom-up approach involving all key stakeholders in the vaccine field in Europe, IPROVE also aims to overcome fragmentation and remove bottlenecks to translation of breakthrough research into innovative vaccines. The consultation process will involve experts from public health and regulatory bodies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), large industry, academia, research organisations, civil society organisations, as well as funding and policy bodies.
The roadmap – expected to be finalised by December 2015 – will inform strategic decisions on the priorities for future vaccine investment in innovation and technological development at the level of the EU as well as of individual Member States.
The IPROVE consortium comprises four renowned organisations in the vaccine field in Europe: Vaccines Europe (VE), a specialised group within the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) representing all major research-based vaccine global companies as well SMEs operating in Europe; the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), a leading European Product Development Partnership supporting the development of effective, accessible, and affordable vaccines against diseases of poverty; the Sclavo Vaccines Association (SVA), a non-profit association whose main objective is to promote vaccine research targeted towards the discovery and study of advanced immunisation technologies; and EATRIS, a European consortium of 69 academic institutions of excellence in translational research, working together to advance candidates into clinical development.
Details of IPROVE project
Start date: 01/12/2013
End date: 01/12/2015
Project cost: 623,419.40 euro
EU contribution: 496,367.00 euro
Coordinator: Vaccines Europe/EFPIA