German Program Looks Into Viruses for ‘Next Pandemic’

The German-EU “Vaccelerate” Program is investigating viruses for “pandemic potential,” according to a paper titled “Predicting the Next Pandemic.”

According to the paper, Influenza is the virus most likely to contribute to the “next pandemic.”

The second-most likely “pandemic generator” is “Disease X.”

“Disease X represents the awareness that a severe international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen that is currently unknown to cause human disease, without being associated with a specific pathogen,” the paper says.

Although the paper discusses methods the Vaccelerate consortium may take to be prepared for a future pandemic, it notes that “climate change” may affect “disease patterns, including the potential spread of vectors into previously unaffected regions.”

The purpose of the program is to support “clinical trial sites” to “enhance vaccine development capabilities.”

According to the E.U.’s funding page, Vaccelerate will have received almost €26.5 million between January 28, 2021, and January 27, 2024.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for concerted efforts towards vaccine development in Europe. The EU-funded VACCELERATE project creates a platform connecting all European vaccine development stakeholders. VACCELERATE maps clinical trial and laboratory sites across Europe and identifies the best locations for conducting Phase 2 and 3 vaccine trials,” reads a description of the project. “A Volunteer Registry provides access to trial participants. The network coordinates laboratory support and provides standardised assays and trial protocols. VACCELERATE identifies and shares emerging public health questions, provides answers through its own clinical trials, and lends expertise and tangible support to vaccine developers from industry and academia. With these efforts, VACCELERATE partners are creating a network ready to face emerging pandemics and enhance vaccine development capacity in Europe.”

“VACCELERATE offers solutions for characteristic vaccine development issues during pandemics by closing gaps in public health knowledge and improving knowledge transfer,” an “objectives” page says.