A robust vaccine pipeline
Industry-ready vaccine pipeline
AVRA is a new approach to addressing the barriers to vaccine production capability in Australia – the time is right for a new level of national coordination and collective effort from key stakeholders that would create high quality solutions – leading to a vaccine pipeline that is industry-ready and a workforce with the capability, experience and job security that comes from a focussed, longer term investment of effort.
AVRA will fully exploit Australia’s significant fixed-cost infrastructure (NCRIS National Biologics Facilities; CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness and Advanced Biologics Manufacturing Facility), capabilities (NHMRC Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies – APPRISE; MRFF Pathogen Genomics; NHMRC CRE for Emerging Infectious Diseases – CREEID) and networks (RNA Network of Australasia; the National COVID Vaccine Trials Alliance – Vax4COVID; Melbourne Academic Centre for Health – MACH; and the Waratah Vaccine Trials Alliance) set in place over the past decade.
AVRA will bring together expertise for the development of viral and bacterial vaccines that has typically progressed independently and is often siloed. Collaboration between viral and bacterial vaccine developers provides a unique opportunity for lateral thought and a framework for the formation of multidisciplinary project teams with the breadth and scale to successfully address complex and urgent vaccine research and development problems.
The AVRA vaccine
Vaccine development typically follows a linear sequence of steps, with multiple pauses for data analysis and manufacturing-process checks. With the COVID-19 pandemic we have learned that the rapid development of a new vaccine also requires disruptive thinking – the AVRA model will be structured to enable a cross-disciplinary development process to rapidly pivot and deploy all available resources and technologies. The alternative – using an existing ad hoc approach, or a collection of individual projects – is not feasible: this would lead to a fragmented, short-term, inflexible and capped system.
The proposed translational pipeline, including direct and broad engagement with industry (Australian SMEs, multinationals, regulators and global non-government organisations), will ensure that efforts are aligned to the most urgent and important disease threats, and that discoveries and innovative new development approaches or methodologies are delivered to market in an accelerated manner.
Productive industry and academic partnerships will catalyse the creation of new companies and joint ventures that will have the impetus, imperative and know-how needed to take evidence-based research outputs through to regulated, high-quality and high utility commercial products.