Synapse participates in the IMI 2 DRIVE project (Development of Robust and Innovative Vaccines Effectiveness) carrying out specific tasks mainly at the project management level. The 5 years project kicked off on the 17th to the 19th July 2017 in the city of Valencia (Spain) and counted with the attendance of the members of the consortium.

Along with Synapse, the DRIVE project is formed by a consortium coordinated by Fundación Fisabio (Spain), while other members are the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (France), P95 CVBA (Belgium), the Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy), the National Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland), Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italy), University of Surrey (United Kingdom), Confederation of Meningitis Organisations Ltd. (United Kngdom), Université Claude Bernard Lyon (France), Association Internationale de Standardisation Biologique pour L’Europe (France), Sanofi Pasteur (France), Abbott Biologicals B.V. (The Netherlands), Seqirus UK Limited (United Kngdom) and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals (Belgium).

Influenza is a major public health problem which can infect annually 60 of the 500 million inhabitants of the European Union. Vaccines are the cornerstone for preventing influenza and its consequences. Current influenza vaccines have a moderate variable effect, given the mismatch between vaccine and circulating strains, waning immunity and interference from previous vaccination, among others.

The single most important challenge in achieving Vaccine Effectiveness studies is the ability of the different stakeholders to work in collaboration. Indeed, to enable a sustainable network of influenza Vaccine Effectiveness studies, the Development of Robust and Innovative Vaccines Effectiveness (DRIVE) main goal will be the development of a governance model between public and private entities.

A second challenge will be to reach the capacity to perform vaccine brand- specific effectiveness studies, which is agile enough to deliver the needed outputs in timely manner, and robust enough to provide results by different age and risk groups and flexible enough to utilize novel tools while at the same time aims to be sustainable.

Combining these outputs, DRIVE will establish a sustainable platform for joint influenza vaccine effectiveness evaluation which will have a positive impact on European citizens public health.

DRIVE project is mainly sponsored by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the European pharmaceutical industry (via EFPIA) under the auspices of the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (www.imi.europa.eu).