IPROVE (Innovation Partnership for Roadmap on Vaccines in Europe) has announced the preparation of a comprehensive roadmap on the future of vaccine research and development (R&D) in the European Union (EU).
Financed under the EU 7th Framework Programme (FP7), IPROVE aims to set out a clear vision on priority innovations and technologies in immunisation needed to ensure the development of treatments for infectious and non-infectious threats to public health across Europe and beyond.
Recently 16 SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) took, part in a dedicated consultation workshop alongside representations from the European Commission, European Investment Bank and European Institute of Technology to progress four areas:
- Mobilising new ideas to improve R&D contribution from SMEs in the vaccine/immunology area;
- Enhancing competitiveness of SMEs and interaction with public authorities and large pharma;
- Elaborating strategies to enhance SME involvement in EU R&D activities in the vaccine and immunology arena;
- Improving access to risk/venture capital, efficiency and effectiveness of funding at the EU & Member State level.
Kicked off in December 2013, IPROVE will analyse the entire vaccine innovation chain, from needs identification and conceptualisation to discovery and development, including interventions necessary to improve education curricula, and vaccine perception and awareness by the public. A second workshop, lead by the European Vaccine Initiative and Vaccines Europe, on training and communications for promoting coordination between existing scientist and healthcare professionals training schemes will take place in Brussels on 28th October.
The project is considered key to strengthen Europe´s competitiveness and leading position in vaccinology, ensuring that also in the future Europe will maintain its leadership position and capacity to tackle unmet medical needs. Additional goals include favouring a more structured vaccine innovation agenda, tackling changing medical needs and supporting healthcare system budgets.
Through a bottom-up approach involving all key stakeholders in the vaccine field in Europe, IPROVE also aims to overcome fragmentation and remove bottlenecks to translation of breakthrough research into innovative vaccines. The consultation process will involve experts from public health and regulatory bodies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), large industry, academia, research organisations, civil society organisations, as well as funding and policy bodies.
The roadmap - expected to be finalised by December 2015 - will inform strategic decisions on the priorities for future vaccine investment in innovation and technological development at the level of the EU as well as of individual Member States.
The IPROVE consortium comprises four renowned organisations in the vaccine field in Europe: Vaccines Europe (VE), a specialised group within the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) representing all major research-based vaccine global companies as well SMEs operating in Europe; the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI), a leading European Product Development Partnership supporting the development of effective, accessible, and affordable vaccines against diseases of poverty; the Sclavo Vaccines Association (SVA), a non-profit association whose main objective is to promote vaccine research targeted towards the discovery and study of advanced immunisation technologies; and EATRIS, a European consortium of 69 academic institutions of excellence in translational research, working together to advance candidates into clinical development.