The European Union is mobilising €12 million from the Horizon 2020 funding programme to support the rapid establishment of a new EU-wide vaccine trial network. VACCELERATE will bring together all European stakeholders involved in COVID-19 vaccine development and form the backbone needed to accelerate pan-European phase 2 and 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials. MedUni Vienna is participating as one of the project partners.
There is a continued need for phase 2 and 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials, in order to achieve widespread, long-term immunity among the entire European population. These trials will now be coordinated through the pan-European research network VACCELERATE.
The VACCELERATE project is led by University Hospital Cologne and currently involves 26 partners from 16 EU member states and 5 EU-associated countries, while other countries are encouraged to join. VACCELERATE will be established as the network for pandemic preparedness in Europe and will create structures to test new vaccine candidates quickly and effectively, even post coronavirus. VACCELERATE will organise a Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) to facilitate strategic discussions and identify unanswered public health needs together with health authorities, vaccine developers and international vaccine initiatives.
VACCELERATE links capable clinical trial sites, pools expert knowledge and promotes transparent exchange of expertise in the field of vaccine development. The goal is to plan and coordinate vaccine trials in all EU member states and all EU-associated countries under one strategic and scientific umbrella. An important step in establishing the network is identifying clinical trial sites and laboratories that have the capacity to perform clinical vaccine trials in Europe.
At MedUni Vienna, Markus Zeitlinger, Head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, is acting as coordinator and Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt, Head of the Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, as his deputy.