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A Large-Scale Research Project by a Dutch Consortium Addressing a Global Problem
Date:9/11/2007

Development of Novel Strategies to Induce and Monitor Humoral and Cellular

Immunity to Protect Hosts From Infection by Respiratory Viruses

LEIDEN, The Netherlands, September 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A new and promising research project of Top Institute Pharma is being conducted by a multi-member Dutch consortium with expertise in the fields of virology, immunology and vaccine development. The aim of the project is to develop novel strategies to induce and monitor the humoral and cellular immunity that protects the host from respiratory virus infections. This project has a budget of almost 4 million Euros. One of its aims is to reduce the risk of a pandemic outbreak of influenza, that may emerge from the current avian influenza threat to humans. The partners in the project are Solvay Pharmaceuticals B.V., Nobilon International B.V., OctoPlus N.V., ViroClinics B.V., Virosome Biologicals B.V., the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Leiden University, the University Medical Center Groningen, Utrecht University and the Netherlands Vaccine Institute.

The project is an initiative of Top Institute Pharma, a public-private partnership that was founded in 2006. TI Pharma forms consortia of industrial and academic research teams who conduct ground-breaking, cross-disciplinary research. Its personnel are trained in improving the efficiency of the entire drug discovery and development process. Each year, the Dutch government provides 30 million Euros in funding for the top institute. The pharmaceutical industry and academia each contribute an additional 15 million Euros annually. TI Pharma is aiming to become an international leader in research, training and education.

Professor Ab Osterhaus, principal investigator: "This is a unique project, because it combines the expertise and knowledge from the fields of virology, immunology and vaccine development of prominent industrial partners, knowledge institutes, medical centers and universities. The
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