The European Vaccine Initiative, a product development partnership supporting the development of vaccines against diseases of poverty, has brought together to Brussels manufacturers, biotech companies, public/academic researchers, and funding agencies to identify the gaps in vaccine research and development (R&D) in Europe. In addition, a working group, set up in the yesterday’s meeting, will formulate an agenda for action to pave the way for putting in place a permanent infrastructure securing vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Europe. A separate meeting will be organised with European regulatory authorities to discuss how their contributions can be integrated into the activities of this working group.
Novartis announced today an agreement with Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc. (SGVI) to apply "synthetic genomics" technologies to accelerate the production of the influenza seed strains required for vaccine manufacturing. The seed strain is the starter culture of a virus, and is the base from which larger quantities of the vaccine virus can be grown. The three-year agreement, supported by an award from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), could ultimately lead to a more effective response to seasonal and pandemic flu outbreaks.