Milestones :: Perspectives
Industrial strategy delivers new vaccines manufacturing centre to lead the fight against deadly disease [U.K.]
Ebola and Lassa fever are among the deadly diseases to be tackled in a pioneering new UK vaccine centre.
Press release 1 December 2018
:: The UK’s first-ever dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre will ensure the UK life sciences industry remains at the forefront of worldwide efforts to tackle life-threatening diseases, including Ebola
:: The centre will be built in Oxford, creating more than 50 jobs in the local area
:: Through the modern Industrial Strategy, the government is investing £66 million through UK Research and Innovation in the centre to help make Britain the best place in the world for innovators, including new treatments to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives through the Life Sciences Sector Deal
:: Led by the Jenner Institute, a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Pirbright Institute, the new centre has been awarded funding by UK Research and Innovation of £66 million through the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Medicines Manufacturing challenge.
… Additional funding of £10 million will come from commercial and other partners, including Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. and Merck Sharp and Dohme. The centre will be further supported by expertise and training from GE Healthcare.
The core research teams will be drawn from academia and industry and will include significant new contributions from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London as well as the University of Oxford. The programme will also benefit from access to technologies and intellectual property created by the partners.
Johnson & Johnson Announces Participation in New Collaboration Funded by the UK to Support Vaccines for Pandemic Preparedness
Janssen joins forces with UK government and multiple academic and industrial partners to support creation of Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre
New Brunswick, N.J., Dec. 3, 2018 – Johnson & Johnson today announced that Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., part of its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, will participate in a new collaboration with the UK government and multiple partners from academia and industry that will result in the UK’s first-ever dedicated Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC).
UK Research and Innovation will invest £66 million in the centre as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Medicines Manufacturing programme. VMIC will enable the development and manufacture of vaccines for clinical trials and for emergency outbreak response and preparedness.
“Infectious diseases with pandemic potential need to be proactively addressed, in advance of outbreaks occurring, and developing new vaccines is a central part of any preparedness strategy,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We applaud the UK’s leadership in mobilizing partners from the across the public, private and academic sectors to tackle this challenge.”
The VMIC is planned to be operational in Oxford by 2022, and will be a purpose-built facility capable of supporting multiple technologies, allowing for academic and industry collaboration on the development and manufacture of vaccines.
Three academic institutions will be engaged in VMIC: the Jenner Institute (a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Pirbright Institute), Imperial College, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Additional funding of £10 million will come from commercial and other partners, including Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V. and Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), who will also share their extensive experience in the design and construction of such a facility, and in vaccine manufacturing and development. GE Healthcare will provide in-kind support on engineering and training.
“We are delighted to collaborate on this important initiative with the UK government and this impressive consortium of partners,” said Johan Van Hoof, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head IDV, Vaccines, Janssen Pharmaceuticals R&D and Managing Director, Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., who will be joining the governing board of VMIC. “Only by working in common cause can we achieve the goal of pandemic preparedness. If we take action now, working together, we can prevent the pandemics of the future. We are delighted to support this vital mission.”
The VMIC is being launched to enable the rapid manufacture of vaccines in the event of an epidemic affecting the UK. It will also enable a rapid global response to emerging highly infectious pathogens. Additionally, VMIC aims to develop new technologies such as personalized cancer vaccines and vectors for gene therapy.
“Improving the development, production and application of new vaccines against infectious diseases requires expertise and collaboration across academia and industry,” said UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport. “The Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation 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.”