NUI Galway has joined forces with a new European network to accelerate clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines.
The EU VACCELERATE project connects all stakeholders involved in vaccine development on the continent in order to speed up the next two phases of vaccine trials for Covid-19.
Some 21 countries are involved as part of pandemic preparedness on a pan-European scale, creating the backbone of a new structure to coordinate the fast and effective testing of vaccine candidates.
NUI Galway lead, Professor Declan Devane, Deputy Dean of the University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “We are delighted to play our role in enhancing Ireland’s capacity to conduct vaccine clinical trials for coronavirus and beyond.
“Our role in VACCELERATE focuses on two particular areas – a living mapping and living systematic review of global Covid-19 vaccine trials of which there are currently 164, including 104 which are recruiting participants, and secondly an exploration of the barriers and facilitators to vaccination uptake in adults internationally.”
The VACCELERATE project is led by the University Hospital Cologne, Germany and involves 26 partners from 16 EU-member states and 5 EU-associated countries, with other countries encouraged to join.
NUI Galway and UCD are the Irish partners in the network, with funding provided under EU Horizon 2020.
VACCELERATE will coordinate phase 2 & 3 Covid-19 vaccine trials in all EU-member states and EU-associated countries under one strategic-scientific umbrella.
The network will link capable clinical trial sites, expert knowledge and promote transparent exchange of expertise in the vaccine development field.
An important step in building this network is identifying clinical trial sites, 200 of which have already been identified, and laboratories with the capacity to perform vaccine clinical trials.
VACCELERATE will also facilitate access to vaccine trial volunteers by setting up volunteer registries at https://www.vaccelerate.eu/volunteer-registry/index.html
The project will promote harmonised acquisition, open exchange and consolidation of data for enhanced analysis across trials. This cooperation will generate solutions for characteristic problems in vaccine development that emerge in a pandemic and find answers to identified pressing public health questions.
The European Commission is aiming to use VACCELERATE for the long-term increase of vaccine development capacities.