Who are we?
The PERISCOPE (PERtussIS COrrelates of Protection Europe) consortium brings together internationally renowned scientists with many years of experience in Bordetella pertussis (Bp) research, clinical trials, bioinformatics, immunology and public health. PERISCOPE combines two major industrial partners with public researchers from academic and public health institutes and SMEs with expertise in clinical trials, vaccinology, immunology, molecular microbiology, (human) challenge models and bioinformatics.
Why are we doing this?
Globally, there are 16 million pertussis cases and about 195,000 pertussis deaths in children per year (estimates by CDC), making it one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths. The WHO has recommended more extensive vaccination in low income countries and in particular the implementation of maternal immunization programs to protect infants who are most vulnerable to pertussis.
pertussis cases globally
pertussis deaths in children per year
Who is funding us?
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of € 3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects ‘in kind’, for example by donating their researchers’ time or providing access to research facilities or resources.
Within PERISCOPE, the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) invest € 21mio and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation an additional € 7mio, giving a total of € 28mio over the next five years.
EU and EFPIA
with support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Given the resurgence and changing epidemiology of pertussis in industrialized countries and the persistent low level of vaccination coverage and high infant mortality caused by pertussis in low income countries, PERISCOPE represents a concerted effort aiming to accelerate the development of improved vaccination strategies that ensure solid, long-lasting protection against infection.Prof. Ronald de Groot
PERISCOPE represents a coherent effort of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Pharmaceutical Industry (EFPIA) to address current knowledge and technological gaps in Pertussis research. This effort brings together scientists and experts from 20 prominent European academic and public institutions, as well as specialists from Sanofi Pasteur and GSK Biologicals, two of the world’s leading vaccine developers and manufacturers, to bolster multidisciplinary research and ultimately accelerate the translation of scientific breakthroughs into innovative vaccines for Pertussis disease.Dr Patricia Londoño-Hayes
Collaboration between Industry and Academia is needed to better understand B. pertussis pathogenesis and immune correlates of protection. By bringing different areas of expertise together, this project will try to find new solutions for the further development of pertussis vaccines and for better prevention.Dr Philippe Denoel
Pertussis is a re-emerging infectious disease and most scientist and clinicians working in this area believe that the current acellular pertussis vaccines, while safe, are sub-optimal in terms of long-term efficacy and their ability to induce immunological memory. PERISCOPE coordinates and advances the best research efforts in Europe in the area of pertussis vaccines with the aim to identify or at least validate biomarkers of protective immunity.Prof Kingston Mills
Lead work package 1
The occurrence of outbreaks of whooping cough even in vaccinated children and adults make it necessary to provide a comprehensive study of the nature and mechanisms of natural and vaccine-induced immunity which will enable us to better protect the public. PERISCOPE will allow us to understand this immunity to a much better degree.Prof Rob Read
Chief investigator “Pertussis Human Challenge Colonisation Study”
The PERISCOPE consortium has a plethora of opportunities to understand correlates of protection and inform the design of new vaccines. It combines basic science, including work in pre-clinical and human challenge models, with clinical trials including Africa and vaccines given to pregnant women. The collaboration of investigators with state of the art tools will allow us to go further than ever before in the analysis of vaccine-specific memory in search of correlates of protection.Prof Beate Kampmann
Lead work package 3