Influenza is a major public health issue; it is thought to infect some 60 million of the EU’s 500 million inhabitants every year. Vaccines have a major role to play in preventing the spread of the infectious disease, every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) studies the strains of flu in circulation worldwide and recommends adaptations to flu vaccines accordingly. The challenge for the entire vaccine research and healthcare community is to evaluate the effectiveness of these annual vaccines. Current efforts in this area are simply not extensive enough to assess in detail the benefits of vaccination for different groups and to guide public health measures during a flu season. One element hampering efforts to carry out more extensive vaccine effectiveness is the ability of the different stakeholders involved to work in collaboration.
The goal of the DRIVE project is to set up a platform, bringing together all stakeholders, to study brand-specific flu vaccine effectiveness in the EU over a five-year period. At the heart of the platform will be a governance framework that allows transparent and efficient collaboration between public and private stakeholders. To guarantee the scientific independence of the studies, the roles of all participants, including vaccine manufacturers, will be clearly defined and traceable. An Independent Scientific Committee will further minimise the risk of conflicts of interest in the design of the studies and the interpretation of their results.
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The DRIVE project has launched a new call for tenders inviting study sites capable of researching influenza vaccine effectiveness to join its network. The purpose of the call is to support the sharing of existing influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE) data and to establish new IVE studies including novel and innovative approaches. ###The call is open to any European organisation, institution or network and closes on 15 April 2019. Successful applicants will be compensated by the project for data sharing and contribution to the analysis, and for their participation in project meetings. According to the project, benefits to the joining the project in this way include:
- generating robust brand specific IVE through a European network;
- implementing potentially innovative approaches for IVE estimation;
- participation in the scientific discussion and publications process;
- receiving funding for data sharing and capacity building;
- participation in the DRIVE Annual Forum and General Assembly.
More information on the tender and details of how to apply can be found on the DRIVE website.
The DRIVE project has published a report on its pilot study on flu vaccine effectiveness during the 2017-2018 season. The learnings from the pilot are now being implemented in a larger scale multi-centre study during this winter’s flu season.###
Seasonal influenza affects millions of Europeans every year and can kill between 15 000 and 70 000 of them. Vaccination is recognised as the best way to protect the vulnerable from the disease. However, the flu virus is constantly changing, so every year vaccine manufacturers need to make new versions of the vaccine, based on advice from the World Health Organization on the virus strains most likely to be in circulation in the near future.
Vaccines vary in a number of ways; for example, most contain inactivated viruses and are injected, while some contain live but weakened viruses and are given as a nasal spray. Some include an adjuvant to boost the immune response, while others do not. Manufacturing methods also vary.
Until now, data on the effectiveness of different vaccines has been collected on a relatively small scale, meaning it has not been possible to evaluate, together, the effectiveness of the different brands and types of vaccines in use during a given flu season.
DRIVE collects results of independent studies from several countries and analyses them together. The studies are conducted by the public partners only (without the involvement of the vaccine manufacturers), and reviewed by an independent scientific committee. The results of DRIVE will help all involved in vaccine development to improve the effectiveness of flu vaccines in the future.
The DRIVE network is expanding, and eight new study sites joined the project during the first call last year. The new tender for new associate partners will be opened in February for study sites capable of researching the influenza vaccine.
The DRIVE project has launched a Call for tenders for organisations to join the project’s network on influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE). DRIVE is working to create a European platform for studying brand-specific IVE and develop a governance model for scientifically robust, independent and transparent studies in a public-private partnership. ###The DRIVE partners include public health institutes, universities, research organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises and large pharmaceutical companies. The goal of the project’s Call for tenders, which is open to any European organisation, institution or network, is to support the sharing of existing IVE data and to establish new IVE studies. Successful applicants will become DRIVE Research Collaborators and will receive compensation from the project for data and analyses contributed and for participating in relevant project meetings.
- Deadline for submitting proposals: 25 June 2018
- Download the tender documents
ParticipantsShow participants on map
- Abbott Biologicals BV, Weesp, Netherlands
- Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA, Rixensart, Belgium
- Sanofi Pasteur SA, Lyon, France
- Seqirus Uk Limited, Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
- Association Internationale De Standardisation Biologique Pour L'Europe(Iabs-Eu), Lyon, France
- Fundacion Para El Fomento De La Investigacion Sanitaria Y Biomedica De La Comunitat Valenciana, Valencia, Spain
- Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale, Paris, France
- Istituto Superiore Di Sanita, Roma, Italy
- Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu, Rome, Italy
- Terveyden Ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos, Helsinki, Finland
- Universita Degli Studi Di Firenze, Florence, Italy
- Universite Lyon 1 Claude Bernard, Villeurbanne, France
- University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized companies (<€500 m turnover)
- Meningitis Research Foundation, Bristol, United Kingdom
- P95 CVBA, Leuven, Belgium
- Synapse Research Management Partners SL, Barcelona, Spain
- Assistance Publique Hopitaux De Paris, Paris, France
|Name||EU funding in €|
|Association Internationale De Standardisation Biologique Pour L'Europe(Iabs-Eu)||343 438|
|Fundacion Para El Fomento De La Investigacion Sanitaria Y Biomedica De La Comunitat Valenciana||3 904 659|
|Institut De Recherche Pour Le Developpement (left the project)||89 591|
|Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale||1 275 722|
|Istituto Superiore Di Sanita||211 048|
|Meningitis Research Foundation||101 456|
|Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu||321 452|
|P95 CVBA||674 315|
|Synapse Research Management Partners SL||393 750|
|Terveyden Ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos||349 250|
|Universita Degli Studi Di Firenze||350 813|
|Universite Lyon 1 Claude Bernard||315 250|
|University of Oxford||262 972|
|University Of Surrey (left the project)||228 329|
|Name||Funding in €|
|Assistance Publique Hopitaux De Paris||177 769|
|Total Cost||8 999 814|