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European vaccine infrastructure strengthened

Vaccine research and development stakeholders have prepared concrete proposals that aim to strengthen Europe's vaccine infrastructure

The European Vaccine Initiative, a product development partnership supporting the development of vaccines against diseases of poverty, brought together manufacturers, biotech companies, public/academic researchers, and funding agencies in Brussels to identify the gaps in vaccine research and development (R&D) in Europe.

The meeting also set up a working group, which will formulate an agenda for action to pave the way for putting in place a permanent infrastructure securing vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Europe.

A separate meeting is planned with European regulatory authorities to discuss how their contributions can be integrated into the activities of this working group.

Commenting on the initiatives, Dr Odile Leroy, executive director of the European Vaccine Initiative, said: "It is of paramount importance that a permanent infrastructure is established to ensure the continuing competitiveness of the European vaccine community."

At present, 60 per cent of global vaccine R&D takes place in Europe, with much of the scientific activities and development of innovative technologies for new vaccines taking place in dispersed academic and biotechnology centres.

At the end of October 2010, the European Commission funded-TRANSVAC project, which is now established as an open platform for vaccine R&D, will enter into a new phase and offer external European groups access to its expertise and technologies.

TRANSVAC is comprised of numerous European groups who provide a complementary portfolio of vaccine-related expertise and technologies to European researchers in order to accelerate the development of new vaccines.

"Successful vaccination is only possible through successful partnership of all those involved from discovery to the person that uses the vaccine. European Vaccine Manufacturers fully supports any initiative that will strengthen that partnership and ensure that more vaccines get to more people who can benefit as quickly as possible," said Michael Watson, VP, public affairs at Sanofi-Pasteur and a representative of the European Vaccine Manufacturers.

13th October 2010

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