European Vaccine Initiative, UniversitätsKlinikum Heidelberg, Germany

EVI (previously known as European Malaria Vaccine Initiative founded in 1998) is a non-profit European Economic Interest Grouping funded by the European Commission and several EU Member States. The specific objective of EVI is to bridge the conceptual and operational gaps between the bench product (i.e. candidate vaccines) through further validation of bench testing, small-scale GMP production and clinical testing. Thus EVI provides both the funding and expertise required to take an experimental vaccine candidate efficiently from the bench into clinical trials. EVI has an external Board of Directors, and an independent external Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), who make recommendations to the Board on scientific direction, technologies, and on the selection of applications for funding. The EVI Secretariat is staffed full-time by experts with extensive experience in the fields of basic research, vaccine development, programme management, clinical trials, regulatory affairs and administrative support. EVI has extensive experience in the coordination of large EC-funded integrated projects, among several others: The European Malaria Vaccine Developers Association (€13.5 million). The main tasks assigned to EVI include overall coordination of the programme by making available the expertise within the EVI staff (e.g. scientific, managerial, adjuvant formulation and regulatory issues) as well as through the recruitment of new staff with complementary experience. 


Biomedical Primate Research Centre, The Netherlands

The major research activity of the Department of Parasitology at BPRC is the application of molecular, biochemical and immunological approaches to provide a rationale for new vaccine and therapeutic strategies for malaria and tuberculosis. The department, which comprises some 25 persons (8 post-docs, 4 PhD students, 12 technicians and 1 secretary), has considerable experience in preclinical vaccine development and evaluation processes. It has played a leading role in taking malaria vaccines to the clinic, including the selection and evaluation of adjuvants and in establishing comparative assay systems for malaria vaccines. Also of relevance to this project, BPRC has a growing activity in finding and developing alternatives to animal research, including the development of cellular assays to determine immunological effects of adjuvants. All tools for envisaged activities are available and in routine use at BPRC.


World Health Organization, Switzerland

The WHO/GADI aims to provide the public-sector vaccine developers with adjuvants, knowledge on how to formulate these adjuvants and training on the formulation of vaccines. GADI, and the network of adjuvant users (ADJUNET) is coordinated by the WHO in collaboration with the Infectious Diseases Research Institute (IDRI). The University of Lausanne and the International for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology will join shortly.

Effective development of vaccines requires knowledge on which adjuvant to use, why, how to use it, how to characterise the formulations, how to ensure consistency, how to produce it etc. This knowledge is in the hands of very few experts, the majority of which are in industry and not free to share this with the public sector. WHO/GADI has brought together ex-industry adjuvant and formulation experts to serve as a knowledge source, and also to create new knowledge on how to formulate vaccines.