VIPRD
Virtual Institute on Poverty Related Diseases

The Virtual Institute- a new online European platform to fight poverty related diseases

HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria alone account for more than six million deaths worldwide every year. Despite substantial efforts made in recent years, Poverty Related Diseases are still spreading. New therapeutic interventions are therefore urgently required to combat Poverty Related Diseases. The existence of a well-developed HIV/TB/Malaria infrastructure presents a prime opportunity to address other sexually transmitted diseases such as viral hepatitis efficiently and effectively. The overall goal of the EURIPRED is to coordinate and integrate international resources into a single specialised infrastructure to support European HIV, TB, Malaria and Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus studies from early drug, vaccine and microbicide discovery to clinical trials. This will be achieved by creating partnerships between European scientists and international research teams from disease endemic countries and strong collaborations between industry and public sector research. Although vaccines, drugs and microbicide research is being conducted in the European Union (EU) there is no single European infrastructure that brings international resources and facilities together to develop cost-effective products for the European market. To underpin this need, EURIPRED will integrate worldwide resources to allow European access to shared reagents. This integrated approach will strengthen international cooperation, increase research capacity in EU and developing countries and significantly contribute to the European Research Area (ERA). By minimising fragmentation and duplication of research efforts and pooling fragmented resources EURIPRED can improve European research efficiency and effectiveness. EURIPRED will be built upon the highly successful model of the Centre for AIDS Reagents (CFAR), a twenty-three year old reagent initiative based at the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), a centre of the Medical Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority Agency (MHRA) and will comprise of a world-class team of experts and repositories with expertise in vaccine, microbicide and drug development for a range of infectious diseases. By engaging international scientific communities, EURIPRED can play a leading role in driving research forward in Europe and beyond. Academics and businesses involved in PRD research  have now  the opportunity to foster partnerships through a new online platform: www.viprd.eu developed by the groundbreaking  EURIPRED  project.  The platform acts as a marketplace for technology offers and requests. PRD researchers  accessing the viprd.eu  platform can find new technologies and ideas; connect with potential R&D and commercial partners; and discover innovative solutions to vaccine and drug development. The platform is  made possible within the EURIPRED  project, which aims to develop and  promote new  treatment technologies in the PRD landscape  by bringing key experts together. The developed platform focuses on aleviating the following problems:
Overall lack and inadequate access of biological materials, reference reagents and standards to support research 
Paucity and unreliability of materials for undertaking research and clinical trials 
Limited information and availability of new clinical isolates representative of HIV, M. tuberculosis and Plasmodium falciparum strains circulating within and outside Europe 
Lack of access to customised technology platforms for manufacturing matched and engineered reagents such as recombinant proteins and synthetic peptides 
Lack of access to early clinical specimens taken when the disease was first identified 
Lack of access to standardisation and validation platforms 
Lack of access to lyophilisation facilities for large scale production of materials 
The prohibitive cost of undertaking research - financial and logistical burdens associated with reagent procurement, storage and distribution 
Lack of knowledge on the specific research areas covered by investigators worldwide leading to the wheel being re-invented 
Inadequacy in quality and regulatory compliance
 Insufficient numbers of knowledgeable and trained scientists to the lead vaccine development field
The platfrom  represents  an advanced infrastructure that  enables end-users  to carry out  studies in a collaborative manner, in an information and data shared environment. The main objective of  VIPRD therefore is to  integrate international resources into a single specialised center to support European HIV, TB, Malaria and Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus findings. This is  achieved by creating  1) World biobank data repositories on HIV, TB, Malaria and Hepatitis,repositories,  new  networks between European scientists and international research teams from disease endemic countries in conjunction with  industry and public sector. Although vaccines, drugs and microbicide research is being conducted in the European Union (EU) there is no single  infrastructure built yet  that brings international resources and facilities together to develop cost-effective products for the European market. To underpin this need, VIPRD  will integrate worldwide resources to allow facilitated  access to shared resources (such as reagents). This integrated approach will strengthen international cooperation, increase research capacity in EU and developing countries and significantly contribute to the European Research Era (ERA).
By minimising fragmentation and duplication of research efforts and pooling fragmented resources EURIPRED can improve European research efficiency and effectiveness. EURIPRED will be built upon the highly successful model of the Centre for AIDS Reagents (CFAR), a twenty-three year old reagent initiative based at the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), a centre of the Health Protection agency (HPA) and will comprise of a world-class team of experts and repositories with expertise in vaccine, microbicide and drug development for a range of infectious diseases. By engaging international scientific communities, EURIPRED can play a leading role in driving research forward in Europe and beyond.