TRANSVAC: Improving and accelerating vaccine development in Europe
General Scope and Activities
TRANSVAC was designed in order to enhance coordination between vaccine Research and Development (R&D) groups, assay developers, and vaccine producers in Europe, and to propose a European road map for vaccine R&D. To this end, TRANSVAC organises a series of European vaccine development stakeholders working groups. It will thus put in place the first pillars of a sustainable European Vaccine Development Platform. This goal will further be achieved by implementing a service-oriented culture based on best practice in pre-clinical and clinical vaccine development, such as optimisation of process development, adjuvant formulation, analytical studies, animal models, identification of biomarkers, etc., thus preparing vaccine candidates for early stage clinical development. TRANSVAC addresses knowledge transfer and capacity building by providing a transnational vaccine development platform accessible free of charge (OPEN CALL) or on a paid basis by innovative European vaccine research groups. Networking activities include a modular course on concepts in vaccine development, a workshop on Global Analyses Platforms, as well as a series of workshops on animal models. The consortium will be open to any interested party, should they be able to bring relevant resources and experience for mutual benefit.
The long history of leading expertise in Europe spanning different fields of vaccinology is now hampered by the economically legitimate abandon, during the last two decades, of publicly funded vaccine production facilities by European governments. This abandon has indeed slowed down innovation in vaccine research, with an immediate consequence on the knowledge and competencies pools. This has increased the fragmentation of know-how and facilities. It has also, in some instances, distinctly impeded the development and validation of promising vaccine candidates. Infections do not stop at borders: the vaccine industry is global, but in Europe vaccine research institutes are national. There is an obvious absence of a European Agenda on vaccine research and development, in a situation of economic and political challenges: the vaccine industry is an asset to the European economy, both in terms of volume of production and number of workers. What is, however, missing is a lack of synergies between the private and the public sector, and the lack of a commonly defined strategy of the EU member states public sector provides a very limited countervailing power to the heavy policy influence of the private sector. The European vaccine development community needs to establish an efficient sustainable collaborative infrastructure based on shared visions and goals in order to address these challenges. TRANSVAC a collaborative infrastructure project funded under the European Commission’s (EC) 7th Framework Programme (FP7) has emerged as the joint effort of leading European groups in the field of vaccine development, and is coordinated by the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI).
Who is who in TRANSVAC
TRANSVAC is coordinated by the European Vaccine Initiative. However, a number of committees, scientists and managers of various institutions keep TRANSVAC running on a daily basis. Find out who is who among the Steering Committee (SC), the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), the User Selection Panel (USP) members, or who the project partners are.
Group picture taken at the TRANSVAC Annual Meeting in Heidelberg on 7-8 March 2013.