The UK’s first Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre has been announced today.
The £66 million purpose-built centre will accelerate vaccine development and manufacture, enabling medicines to be developed quickly in the event of a UK or global epidemic.
This centre represents a major opportunity for UK vaccine research Professor Robin Shattock
The centre will be located at the Oxford Science Park, and run by VMIC UK - a collaboration of the University of Oxford, Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
To be up and running by 2022, the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) addresses the UK’s structural gap in late-stage vaccine manufacturing process development. It will allow development and manufacture of vaccines for clinical trials and at moderate scale for emergency preparedness for epidemic threats to the UK population.
The centre will also innovate new technologies including manufacture of personalised cancer vaccines and vectors for gene therapy.
The Centre’s main grant funding comes through UK Research and Innovation, as part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). Additional funding of £10 million will come from commercial and other partners, including from those with extensive experience in vaccine manufacturing and development such as Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. and Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD). The Centre will be further supported by bioprocessing expertise and training from GE Healthcare.
Responding to epidemics
UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “Improving the development, production and application of new vaccines against infectious diseases requires expertise and collaboration across academia and industry.
“The Vaccines Manufacturing Centre will play an important role in bringing expertise from industry and academia together to ensure we are prepared to respond to the threats of serious infections, including viruses with the potential to cause major national or global epidemics.”
Professor Robin Shattock, Head of Mucosal Infection and Immunity at Imperial, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the VMIC, added: “This centre represents a major opportunity for UK vaccine research and development, and will ensure manufacturing capacity to respond to epidemic threats to the UK population."
Article text (excluding photos or graphics) © Imperial College London.
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