On 17th June 2020, the European Commission (EC) presented the European Vaccines Strategy to solve and overcome the damage that COVID-19 caused. The strategy proposes that the vaccination is the best option against the pandemic situation. The aim is to develop safe and effective vaccines between 12 and 18 months instead of a 10 years process. The topic is relevant and holds precious information for Medtech4 Europe (M4E) Interreg Europe project in which STRIA South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. (STRIA) is involved as the Hungarian partner.
In 2018 December the Council adopted the Recommendation to strengthen the EU cooperation on vaccine-preventable diseases.
In the frame of the accepted plan three injections are already on the market and have been authorised by EC. The three antidotes are well-known from the news such as BioNTech- Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca. Furthermore, EC reinforces its support to national vaccination including joint actions. At this point we have to highlight the joint Austrian- Hungarian Vaccine development with CEBINA GmbH and the Virological Research Group of Szentágothai Research Centre, University of Pécs which started last year. The joint consortium financed by the National Virology Laboratory program which is in line with the EC health policies.
CEBINA GmbH is an Austrian biotechnology company which has huge experience in vaccine research and development. The Szentágothai Research Centre is the Hungarian partner and the common goal is a significant progress in the treatment of patients affected by COVID-19 and its prevention. The Szentágothai Research Centre is well- known from the Hungarian study trip in the frame of the M4E project which has one of Europe’s best equipped BSL-4 laboratories. The project partners had the chance to visit the complex and got to know its facilities and research areas. The partners were impressed too with the Research Centre and its achieved results. That’s the reason the M4E project includes the Szentágothai Research Centre into its frame as a Hungarian good practice.
In the latest news this consortium achieved breakthrough in vaccine development so they start the animal testing in this February. It is important that this new forthcoming vaccine is fundamentally different from the authorized BioNTech- Pfizer and Moderna. At the same time all the three types are third generation vaccines which means these are faster, cheaper, safer and more effective than the second-generation vaccines.
The Medtech4 Europe project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary within the Interreg Europe Programme.