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Boosting vaccine development in Europe beyond COVID-19

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Catarina Luís, PhD

Project and Communication Manager, European Vaccine Initiative

Romina Di Marzo

Communication and Fundraising Manager, European Vaccine Initiative

Global collaboration is key to drive innovation in vaccine development.

When it comes to disease prevention, vaccines are our best weapon. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an unprecedented spotlight on the need to develop, manufacture and deploy vaccines swiftly for diseases that cross borders and populations.

Unfortunately, vaccine development is a complex, expensive and lengthy process. Without international mobilisation, public-private partnerships and sharing of resources and expertise, even the most promising and innovative solutions may not succeed.

Getting new vaccines faster

TRANSVAC is a collaborative initiative between more than 20 European leading research organisations, coordinated by the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI). TRANSVAC aims to establish a sustainable, disease-overarching vaccine infrastructure that can pool and leverage existing resources, expertise, technologies and other tools among the participating institutions.

This will create synergies that truly convert it into an accelerator of vaccine development, particularly at early and at-risk development stages. This initiative currently supports the development of innovative preventative and therapeutic vaccines against a range of diseases, both for human and veterinary use, mostly free of charge.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put an unprecedented spotlight on the need to develop, manufacture and deploy vaccines swiftly for diseases that cross borders and populations.

European COVID-19 vaccine trial accelerator network

VACCELERATE is a new pan-European clinical research network dedicated to the coordination and conduct of COVID-19 vaccine phase II and III clinical trials, constituted by 26 organisations across 21 countries. The network offers expertise, services, resources and solutions to speed up existing and upcoming development programmes and market authorisation for new vaccines and vaccination strategies.

The network will, among other aspects, address research questions of interest for European public health, such as vaccine efficacy against virus variants, vaccines for adolescents and children, pregnant women, immuno-compromised patients, longevity of vaccine protection, and trials on combination of different vaccines. In line with that, the European volunteer registry for vaccine trials has been established providing fast and efficient recruitment of trial participants.

Safe and effective vaccines are a public health good in constant demand. Such initiatives not only ensure rapid progress towards the development of new vaccines through concerted and coordinated efforts but also represent a blueprint for innovation to happen.

European Vaccine Initiative (EVI) works closely with over 150 partners worldwide, facilitating and sustaining collaborations between the public, private, academic and philanthropic sectors. It is dedicated to the progress of several vaccine candidates for COVID-19, malaria, leishmaniasis, diarrheal disease, among other diseases, but also involved in creating and expanding international innovative networks that can drive and accelerate vaccine research across multiple diseases, creating a profound and transformative impact on vaccine development in general.

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