In an effort to accelerate timelines and decrease development costs of life-saving vaccines, the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and Sanofi Pasteur have established the Global Health Vaccine Center of Innovation (GHVCI), to be based at IDRI in Seattle. The project is funded in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The GHVCI represents an alliance among the three organizations, focused on accelerating the development of vaccines and associated technologies to fight a wide range of global infectious diseases, and ensuring that those critical vaccines are accessible globally, especially to people in need within developing countries.
Each partner will bring its respective expertise and technologies to the GHVCI and, collectively, the parties will collaborate with a wide range of other vaccine development organizations. Funding for the establishment, operation and growth of the GHVCI will come from Sanofi and the Gates Foundation, and additional funding will be sought to support collaborative research activities with respect to specific vaccines to be developed at the GHVCI.
The collaboration leverages the potential power of the partners’ collective expertise, combining IDRI’s vaccine design, formulation and production technologies; Sanofi’s position as a multinational vaccine developer, manufacturer and seller; and the Gates Foundation’s knowledge, influence and financial support regarding the discovery and development of global health interventions, including vaccines. A key component is the application of IDRI’s vaccine adjuvant technologies and formulation expertise, which have been developed over the past few years with strong financial support from the Gates Foundation. Those adjuvant technologies are uniquely designed to improve immune responses, broaden vaccine protection and significantly save costs by reducing the amount of vaccine needed.
According to the World Health Organization, vaccines have greatly reduced the burden of infectious diseases, including death tolls, disability and inequity, making “formerly fearsome” diseases a rarity in many parts of the world.
A joint steering committee, comprised of representatives from each of the three partners, will mutually identify areas of research to discover, evaluate and develop novel human vaccines, as well as adjuvant/formulation platforms for the rapid response to emerging pathogens, that can prevent or treat infectious diseases.
Initial funding will be used to establish and operate the GHVCI, build capacity as the collaboration grows, and provide management and scientific recruitment as well as training.