PERISCOPE annual meeting 2017 in Prague

From March 8-10 the PERISCOPE Consortium came together for its annual meeting in Prague (Czech Republic), the hometown of the project partner Institute of Microbiology of the ASCR, v. v. i. (IMIC), to discuss the project’s progress and future collaboration.

The meeting was arranged as a three day event, combining a stakeholder session on March 8 with two full consortia meeting days on March 9 and 10, 2017. All meeting participants were committed to share what has been achieved during the first year of the project and to structure the tasks ahead.

In the course of the stakeholder session, the consortium had the chance to meet with invited representatives of the related IMI projects Biovacsafe (represented by the EFPIA coordinator of Biovacsafe Giuseppe Del Giudice, GSK Vaccines), Advance (represented by the EFPIA coordinator of Advance Vincent Bauchau, GSK Vaccines) and SAFE-T (represented by the coordinator of SAFE-T Michael Merz, Novartis, and his colleague Nicole Schneiderhan-Marra, NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen) to discuss potential interactions between PERISCOPE and the invited consortia and to share lessons learned.

The following two meeting days were opened by PERISCOPE coordinator Ronald de Groot (Radboud University Medical Center, RUMC) and Angela Wittelsberger from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). Hani Kim from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation presented the Foundations work  and stressed the importance of pertussis vaccination research, stating that the global amount of pertussis cases is causing an estimated 54.500 deaths of children under 5 per year due to lack of vaccination.

The programme of the annual meeting provided each partner with the opportunity to address the progress and challenges within the different work packages of the project, including updates and outlooks on research, dissemination and management activities. The final meeting day provided time for several topic specific breakout sessions, where current challenges and those ahead were discussed in parallel by smaller working groups. The afternoon was dedicated to clinical studies and related data and sample management tasks within PERISCOPE. Here, members of the clinical study teams were discussing the clinical study protocols and the supporting technical as well as logistical activities needed for a successful implementation and coherence of the studies.

The annual meeting was also attended by PERISCOPE scientific advisory board Chair Tod Merkel from the US Food and Drug Administration and the PERISCOPE Ethics Advisory Group Chair Professor Evert van Leeuwen from the Radboud University Medical Center offering their valuable insights and expertise on pertussis research.

PERISCOPE Coordinators at the stakeholder session with invited speakers
PERISCOPE Coordinators at the stakeholder session with invited speakers (left to right: Patricia Londono-Hayes, Vincent Bauchau, Giuseppe del Giudice, Ronald de Groot, Michael Merz, Angela Wittelsberger, Nicole Schneiderhan-Marra)
PERISCOPE Coordinators with Karen Makar and Hani Kim
PERISCOPE Coordinators with Karen Makar and Hani Kim, both Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (left to right: Karen Makar, Hani Kim, Patricia Londono-Hayes, Ronald de Groot)
The PERISCOPE consortium at the annual meeting 2017 in Prague
The PERISCOPE consortium at the annual meeting 2017 in Prague