EVI to lead Immune Monitoring in pan-European vaccine trial network, VACCELERATE
EVI to lead Immune Monitoring in pan-European vaccine trial network, VACCELERATE, as part of €150 million EU investment in research to counter coronavirus variants.
The European Commission announced today a €150 million investment for research to counter coronavirus variants. As part this “European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) Incubator” programme, Horizon 2020 funding will support the rapid establishment of a new EU-wide vaccine trial network called VACCELERATE. The grant agreement was signed today between representatives of the VACCELERATE consortium and the European Commission.
VACCELERATE will receive a €12 million grant and involves 26 partners, including the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), in 16 Member States (AT, BE, CY, DE, DK, EL, ES, FR, IE, IT, LT, NL, PL, PT, SE, SK) and 5 associated countries (CH, IL, NO, RS, TR). VACCELERATE network, led by University Hospital Cologne, will act as a single entry point for vaccine developers, including SMEs, who are looking for European infrastructure to carry out vaccine trials. The consortium will work closely with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to enable clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and prepare Europe for other emerging infectious diseases in the future.
EVI will have a key role in the project by leading the immune monitoring activities, which will focus on compiling, standardizing and prioritizing a comprehensive catalogue of immunological and genetic assays for COVID-19 vaccines. This will involve close collaboration with consortium partners as well as with other initiatives and networks that strive to standardise assessment of COVID-19 vaccines.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 will be a long-term problem. New virus variants will emerge, and we must be prepared to regularly develop new or improved vaccines. EVI warmly welcomes the launch of VACCELERATE, which represents an ambitious European collaboration that can mount a credible defense against the challenges that COVID-19 will continue to pose in years and decades to come” says Ole F. Olesen, Executive Director of EVI.
VACCELERATE amalgamates the vast but scattered expertise across Europe into one network to deliver strategic scientific leadership and guidance on vaccine trials in Europe. Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be an established pandemic preparedness network, ready to face emerging future pandemics, as well as a pivot in Europe’s capacity to develop vaccines. EVI’s team is looking forward to working with VACCELARTE partners to catalyse testing of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and pave the way in being better prepared for the challenges of potential future outbreaks.
Read more on the European Commission's preparedness efforts against COVID-19 here >>