Pfizer Vaccines launches first Centre of Excellence

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The University of Louisville has been named as Pfizer’s first ‘Centre of Excellence’, part of its Vaccine Division’s global programme of collaborations with academic institutions to conduct real-world research on vaccine-preventable diseases affecting adults.

The University of Louisville (UofL) will initially conduct two separate, large population-based epidemiological studies in adults – a one-year study of the incidence of infectious diarrhoea with funding provided by Pfizer up to $6.5 million, and a one-year study of the incidence of pneumonia with funding provided by Pfizer up to $4.5 million.

“The Centres of Excellence will complete comprehensive, disease surveillance and real-world vaccine effectiveness studies, which are distinctly different from clinical safety and efficacy research,” said Luis Jodar, Chief Medical and Scientific Affairs Officer at Pfizer Vaccines.

“With strategically located research centres around the world, we anticipate being able to better define and understand global disease burden in adults and vaccine effectiveness, which will help provide robust evidence to national policymakers and health officials who develop recommendations for the use of vaccines in immunisation programs worldwide.”

Julio Ramirez, Chief of UofL Infectious Diseases and Centre Director, said: “To develop a vaccine, it is important to understand the overall population burden of disease that the vaccine is going to prevent: How common is this illness? Who are the patients that are at higher risk?

“These are the questions we will be addressing with the types of studies we are going to be doing in Louisville, Kentucky.”

Pfizer Vaccines is currently planning to establish a few additional Centres of Excellence for epidemiological research strategically located around the world in the coming years. A second global centre anticipated in the first half of 2020.