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The Pandemic Institute (of which the University of Liverpool is a founding partner) has entered into a five year influenza research partnership with Seqirus – a global leader in influenza prevention.
Under the partnership, Seqirus will participate in research projects and knowledge generation around both the threat of seasonal influenza and the development of innovative approaches to pandemic preparedness and response.
Under the terms of the agreement, the £5 million research partnership will see Seqirus providing financial support, research materials and scientific and technical expertise towards the development of scientific and medical advancements in seasonal and pandemic influenza prevention.
Speaking of the new collaboration, the University of Liverpool’s Professor Tom Solomon, Director of The Pandemic Institute, said: “The Pandemic Institute is committed to helping the world prevent, prepare, and respond more effectively to pandemics. With a breadth of word-leading clinical, academic, public health and data-driven expertise, we’re keen to leverage these synergies in our collaboration with Seqirus to enhance influenza protection and pandemic response. We’re delighted that our founding partner, University of Liverpool, has taken the lead on this partnership with Seqirus and we look forward to bringing our combined intelligence and resources together to generate scientific excellence with societal impact for all.”
Seqirus has had a long history of investment in Liverpool dating back to 1943. Today, the Liverpool site is the largest influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the UK, producing over 50m doses of seasonal influenza vaccine each year and providing employment for over 800 highly skilled staff. The site is also a key part of the company’s response strategy for a potential influenza pandemic, contracted to make 200 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccines when it is needed.
Sharon McHale, Vice President, Global Head of Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs at Seqirus said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the incontrovertible value of research and scientific partnership to support pandemic response. The University of Liverpool is renowned internationally for research excellence and can boast over a century of discovery and translational research in infectious diseases, a field in which it is a leader. It makes absolute sense for us to build this new partnership for the next step towards pandemic preparedness from the strong base we already have within Liverpool.
Through developing epidemiological studies and prospective real-world evidence studies, the advanced research will further influenza protection and pandemic response, whilst helping to differentiate Seqirus’ capabilities and portfolio. The Pandemic Institute has complementary capabilities and through one of the founding partners, the University of Liverpool, we are able to enhance flu pandemic preparedness.”
Dr Raja Rajaram, Head of Seqirus Global Medical Strategy said: “Seqirus is committed to protecting public health through partnerships such as this academic collaboration with the Pandemic Institute, through the University of Liverpool, which will allow us to expand our knowledge base through evidence generation and access breakthrough scientific and technological advancements. This moment is doubly exciting for the value it will bring to both of our organisations and especially our scientific teams based in the UK.”
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