The UniVax project integrates eleven partners from seven European or associated countries. Each partner is specifically designated to provide the expertise needed for the achievement of the UniVax objectives. The partners are experienced in cooperative research and exploitation of research results. They are recognized internationally for their unique expertise in their fields and constitute altogether a well-balanced interdisciplinary pan-European consortium that will professionally implement the work plan elaborated. The consortium consists of the following five research facilities and six innovative SMEs.

Coordinator

Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis 

The Institute of Virology and Immnology (IVI) studies exotic and zoonotic virus infections, and possesses BSL2, BSL3 and BSL4 facilities for this work. Major areas of research include replicon generation and analysing interactions of viruses, replicons and vaccines with dendritic cells (DCs) in vitro and in vivo. Current research: Influenza virus pathogenesis in pigs; application of replicon vaccines encoding influenza virus antigens; routine replicon modification to generate new constructs; endocytic routes of processing by DCs; relating modified receptor targeting to DC endocytic processing routes; induction of immune defences in mice, rabbits and pigs. The Immunology Department focuses mainly on DC biology (human and porcine). Our work over the past few years, together with the Virology Department of the IVI, has concentrated on replicon vaccines and their delivery by synthetic means.Therein, the research is committed to applying the principles of the 3R's. Our recent collaborations have been analysing how DCs handle and are activated by different types of vaccine delivery, defining the endocytic routes employed, and profiling the DC receptor expression with glycoconjugates and cationic peptides as potential ligands - this also aims to identify potential targeting ligand-receptor interactions.

Contact:  Dr. Ken McCullough

Partners

   

OZ Biosciences is a French corporation founded in 2003 that creates and develops new research tools focused on delivery technologies of bioactive materials (nucleic acid, protein, peptide) into living organisms intended for the life sciences research world and pharmaceutical industries. The company is particularly specialized in nanotechnologies, transfection and its major expertises are in non viral gene therapy, drug delivery systems and nanosciences. The proprietary technologies of OZB are based on new lipids, polymers, liposomes and magnetic nanoparticles. OZB current R&D activities are focused on the development of DNA, RNA and protein delivery systems applied to vaccines, immunology, stem cells, neurosciences, regenerative medicine, gene therapy and cancer.

Contact: Dr. Oliver Zelphati

Synthaur OOO (Ltd) is a private company founded in 2009. Mission of the company is translation of basic research results into practical diagnostics and therapy. With special expertise in synthesis of glycans, glycolipids and glycoconjugates; synthesis of peptides; sophisticated conjugation of biomolecules; lipophilic constructs; affinity adsorbents; surface modification and microarrays.

Contact: Prof. Nicolai Bovin

VitamFero S.A. is a French biotechnology start-up founded in 2005 that aims to develop vaccines against infectious diseases that have economic and health impact in veterinary and/or human health. The first veterinary vaccines elaborated by VitamFero should be marketed in 2017. Thus, VitamFero has executed, in 2012, a partnership agreement with a global animal health player.

Contact: Dr. Edouard Seche

AmVac Research GmbHas a daughter company of AmVac AG, develops in collaboration within AmVac vaccines based on three different platform technologies: a lactobacillus- based platform used for the development of vaccines against urogenital diseases; a viral vector-based platform applied to developments of safe and efficacious vaccines against respiratory pathogens; an adjuvant platform with a well-known mode of action, able to enhance efficacy and immunomodulate the effect of vaccines.

Contact: Dr. Marian Wiegand

MediTox s.r.o. is a life science company and a Contract Research Organization that primarily conducts compliance safety testing and research following Good Laboratory Practices.The safety studies are performed in support of European, United States FDA, Japanese, and other international regulatory compliance guidelines for products developed from medical devices, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries. The preclinical and toxicological testing program includes a complete range of general toxicology (acute, subchronic and chronic toxicity) and pharmacology (safety pharmacology, pharmacodynamic, non clinical tolerance), immunogenicity/immunotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, genetic toxicology, carcinogenicity, pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, bioavailability, ADME and bioanalytical.

Contact: Dr. Martin Slais

     

The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) is a public organization under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Education and Research, founded in 1939. The 1140 CNRS laboratories (or research units) are located throughout France, and employ over 32,000 employees. CNRS encourages collaboration between specialists from different disciplines in particular with the university thus opening up new fields of enquiry to meet social and economic needs. CNRS signed 25 framework agreements with major international industrial groups. The CNRS is the 7th patenting French entity, including companies, (4500 patent families, 400-600 patent/year) and created 704 companies since 2000. The Center for Molecular Biophysics laboratory (CBM) has 100 permanent staff comprising chemists, biologists and physicists. Goals of major research projects aim to identify new therapeutic targets and strategies for their therapeutic use as well as to develop drugs/imaging sensors delivery systems. CBM infrastructure is highly developed and includes different platforms (cytometry, cell and molecular Biology, molecular and physicochemical characterization) and specific equipment.

Contact: Prof. Chantal Pichon

The University of Manchester is the largest single site University in the UK with over 27,000 undergraduate and over 9,000 graduate students and some 9,000 staff. Currently, the University is considered to be 5th in UK and 49th in the world (Shanghai Jiao Tong University). The Laboratory of Polymers and Biomaterials is led by Prof Tirelli and comprises staff affiliated to the three Schools: Materials, Medicine and Pharmacy. This structure is integrated in a number of University- wide centres (e.g. Knowledge Centre of Materials Chemistry, MIMIT: Integrating Medicine with Innovative Technology).

Contact: Prof. Nicola Tirelli

The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig is a publicly funded research centre with more than 800 employees. The focus of the activities at the HZI lies on infectious diseases, with the ultimate goal of developing strategies to efficiently combat pathogens based on new anti-infectives and immune interventions. The scientific work in the Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology is dedicated to elucidating the mechanisms of host response to infection and vaccination, discovering new immune modulators, and developing vaccines against specific diseases.

Contact: Prof. Carlos Guzmán

 

The University of Bergen´s Influenza Centre vision is to reduce the global burden of influenza illness through being an international leader in preclinical and clinical development of new and improved influenza vaccines. The Centre conducts preclinical research and development of promising vaccine candidates in its modern AALAC accredited animal facility. The Centre has expertise for conducting human clinical phase I-IV trials of new influenza vaccines under good clinical practice (GCP). The Influenza centre is situated in modern well-equipped laboratory facilities located on the campus of Haukeland University Hospital, which has a state of the art phase I clinical trial unit.

Contact: Prof. Rebecca Cox 

 

tp21 GmbH is specialized in the planning and management of European RTD projects as well as in technology transfer services for SMEs. The tp21 project management methodology considers all aspects of the scientific-technological value creation chain necessary to enable the successful implementation of research projects including dissemination and exploitation of the results. tp21 supports the take up of research results and new technologies by SMEs and industry. tp21 realises research marketing via print material, project promotion videos, websites, exhibitions, symposia and training measures.

Contact: Dr. Petra Zalud