Sanofi’s vaccines unit, Sanofi Pasteur, has agreed to partially fund the Human Vaccines Project – a non-profit, global consortium of researchers and private partners working towards a better understanding of the human immune system. The group’s primary goal is to use knowledge of the immune system to solve problems preventing advancements in vaccines and immunotherapies.
“Sanofi Pasteur is proud to join this effort to accelerate and transform vaccine development for major and emerging infectious diseases as well as to better understand human immunology, which may be applicable toward disease management of other chronic disease states,” said Dr. Jim Tartaglia, Sanofi Pasteur’s R&D Vice President for New Vaccine Projects. “The Project’s partnerships with industrial and non-profit product developers are key to ensuring that technological breakthroughs are rapidly translated into new products.”
Sanofi Pasteur plans to contribute funding to the Human Vaccines Project Research Program, in order to support the coordination and conduction of both the research and administrative activities of the Project. Sanofi Pasteur’s funding will be used to support pilot studies, set up infrastructure, and foster partnerships with key stakeholders.
The Human Vaccines Project has raised $1 billion in the last ten years. It started as a branch of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), and has received support from industry, academic research organizations, and non-profits to identify and overcome obstacles preventing the development of new vaccines.
Sanofi Pasteur’s R&D Vice President for Translational Science & Biomarkers, Dr. Kent Kester, will act as the company’s representative on the Project’s Industry Advisory Committee. Kester will be responsible for reviewing published and unpublished data, and act as an advisor for the Human Vaccines Project.
“A better understanding of human immunity holds the key to accelerating the vaccine and immunotherapy development for complex global diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, emerging infectious diseases and cancers,” said Kester. “And since vaccines are among the greatest successes in the history of public health, having led to the eradication of smallpox, near eradication of polio, prevention of 2-3 million deaths per year, and dramatic reductions in human suffering and healthcare costs, the Project makes sense for all of us.”