Innovation in vaccinology' business development priority

The goal of the Innovation in Vaccinology business development priority is to overcome the specific obstacles to development and regulatory barriers that affect vaccine development, particularly in the area of adjuvants and new delivery techniques. This applies both to preventive and therapeutic vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer vaccines. Through its actions, this strategic translation group aims to raise France's profile in the field of vaccinology.

The issues

After continuous, steady progress in the vaccination field during the 20th Century, the early 21st Century saw both a breakthrough in vaccine production techniques and a quantum leap in technology, brought about by progress in genetics. The 2000s marked a turning point and period of revival for the vaccines industry, which had until then been viewed as a slow-growing niche market.

This market is now driven by the need to develop effective vaccines against newly emerging or re-emerging pathogens. Whilst the importance of identifying new antigens remains a high priority in the field of infectious diseases, the need to develop new vaccines for other, non-infectious diseases such as cancer is also an emerging area.

Alongside this development of new vaccines, personalised medicine is also spreading to the vaccinology field. This means adapting vaccines to the features of specific groups, such as newborns, elderly or immune deficient patients and pregnant women, in which immunogenicity needs to be adjusted, while ensuring the vaccines are well tolerated.

New types of vaccines, combined with special targeting, administration and delivery techniques, and adjuvants capable of fine-tuning the immune response are required.

Whilst there is a resurgence in the vaccine field, perceptions of vaccination in society are an increasingly influential factor. The development of cross-disciplinary approaches is becoming vital for the sector, both in order to make progress in anticipating the risk of side effects linked to vaccination products and to predict their efficacy. The goal of this development at present is to cater for the diversity of target groups, the stages of development of the diseases in question and the resistance mechanisms of both pathogens and tumours.

The context

France has the benefit of a rich scientific infrastructure in the vaccinology field. It is home to historical public institutions such as the Insitut Pasteur and its international network, the National Agency for Scientific Research (ANRS), excellence research teams and infrastructures such as Labex VRI and an increasingly organised clinical research structure.

In terms of recent developments, there is the CoReVac network, set up at the initiative of Aviesan. The network brings together under one umbrella the multidisciplinary skills of academic teams and French clinics in the vaccinology field. The Innovation in Vaccinology business development priority is supported by this network and its purpose is to focus on issues surrounding translation of new developments in vaccinology into commercial use and on the obstacles currently preventing this.

Current initiatives and future plans

  • To identify and map development projects taking place both nationally and internationally in the vaccinology field.
  • To map the patents held by members of the Aviesan Alliance and categorise them into clusters of patents already available, in order to assess their potential in terms of future competition intensity in the markets.
  • To obtain a clearer picture of the usefulness of the vaccines currently under development and to carry out a detailed analysis of the expectations and needs of current and future markets.
  • On the basis of strategic analysis (IP, benchmarks) and talent mapping, to support and recommend innovative collaborative projects with a view to securing development funding from sources such as technology acceleration and transfer companies (SATTs), Horizon 2020 or the Public Investment Bank (BPi), and thereby promote their potential for commercial transfer.
  • To organise R&D meetings between academics and industry.

Dissemination of studies and participation in task forces

The business development priority has joined forces with the CoReVac website, through which it will helps to coordinate the scientific community and raise its profile vis à vis our partners in industry. This will create a more cohesive approach compared with the current situation.
Once you have registered (http://corevac.org/user/register), you will be able to access the joint CoReVac / BDP extranet. This is a space where the BDP group will relay information and report progress. The studies and analyses conducted will be disseminated and information will be posted about the initiatives and events organised by the BDP and CoReVac.

Date of creation: May 2013
Coordinator: Christophe Cans
Coordinating organisations: Inserm-Transfer / Institut Pasteur
Project coordinator: Alice Rochard

The steering committee is responsible for formulating the strategy for the business development priority and the prospective analyses that need to be carried out. It meets four times per year. It is made up of a balance of scientists and business development representatives from the Alliance members, the industry and the SATTs. The members are as follows:

  • BDP coordinator: Christophe Cans
  • Project coordinator: Alice Rochard
  • Scientific lead: Brigitte Autran (CoReVac)
  • A representative from the CVT management committee
  • Representatives from academic bodies: CNRS, IRD, CEA, AP-HP
  • Two representatives from SATTs
  • Representatives from the industry: LEEM, Sanofi-Pasteur, Innavirax, Ciloa

An intellectual property and markets task force is involved in the work to map the Alliance members' patents and to make transfer recommendations. It is responsible for proposing a working method and following up the study and analysis of the intellectual property environment. The members are as follows:

  • Project coordinator: Alice Rochard
  • Scientific lead: Béhazine Combadière (CoReVac)
  • IP experts from the research organisations: Inserm-Transfer, Institut Pasteur, CNRS, CEA
  • A representative of the SATTs

The group will call upon the help of outside IP firms and industry analysts to support its work. They will analyse the economic scene, clinical needs, development currently under way, the market, etc. and establish technico-economic criteria that can be used for prioritising projects.

The Adjuvants and Administration Routes task forces are responsible for studying issues associated with adjuvants, identifying new vaccine adjuvants and exlporing new routes of administration. They are both coordinated by the CoReVac network and the BDP (see joint CoREVat/BDP extranet platform: to register go to http://corevac.org/user/register).

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