Several aspects of Research and Development into vaccines for diseases of poverty are hampered because organisations work independently, and with different approaches and technologies. An example, is the often highly specific and localised use of assays to evaluate candidate vaccine efficacy. This undermines confidence when comparisons of efficacy are made between vaccine candidates from different organisations.

EVI’s work in harmonisation of vaccine assays seeks to develop a level of standardisation for several key assays, through agreement on standardised lab procedures, preparations, and reagents, and through promoting their uptake and use.

Similar problems beset tests to compare and select different adjuvants, which are so important to enhancing the vaccine immune response. EVI is also working to address these issues.

An important achievement of harmonisation activities under the EMVDA project has been the establishment of a Reference Reagent Repository (www.malariaresearch.eu)