Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Joins European Collaboration for Developing Vaccine Adjuvants

Date published: 19 June 2018

Area of Expertise:

Professor Louise Cosby, Head of Virology Branch, at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute has joined the European Network of Vaccine Adjuvants (ENOVA), which brings together European experts and stakeholders working in different areas of adjuvant and vaccine research and development, including both prophylactic and therapeutic applications as well as human and veterinary vaccines.

Dr Ken Lemon, Professor Louise Cosby and Dr Victoria Smyth (AFBI)

ENOVA is funded by COST through the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 and is coordinated by the Vaccine Formulation Institute. The goals of the network are to facilitate communication and the exchange of information on adjuvants and vaccine formulation among its members, to ensure that new discoveries are widely disseminated so that their potential can be of optimal benefit, to promote the best use of existing adjuvant technologies, and to encourage and support the development of novel adjuvants and vaccines. Currently organizations from 28 countries are part of ENOVA.

Vaccines are one of the most successful tools for prevention and control of infectious diseases in humans and animals. Despite success in the control of multiple infectious diseases, there are still many infectious diseases for which no effective vaccine is available.

Adjuvants are substances that, when mixed with vaccine antigens, enhance the immune responses to the antigen, and they are an essential feature of modern vaccine development. While traditional prophylactic vaccines prevent disease, therapeutic vaccines are a promising novel strategy to treat and cure cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases by stimulating the immune system to fight the disease. Adjuvants are an essential component in therapeutic vaccines in order to elicit an appropriate and effective immune response.

Professor Cosby’s participation in ENOVA builds on previous success in vaccine development by former staff at Veterinary Sciences Division, through the development of a vaccine for circovirus in pigs. This vaccine is sold globally and has resulted in royalty income to AFBI of over £60m, representing the largest royalty income received by any Public Sector Research Establishment in the United Kingdom.

ENOVA will contribute to the strengthening of Europe’s position as the global leader in vaccinology, and will increase knowledge transfer across the currently fragmented fields within vaccine development, as well as providing a repository of information for the European public about vaccines and vaccination. The network will organize adjuvant workshops and training schools, and will support scientific exchange visits amongst its members.

Full details of the network are available on the project website:

ENOVA participating countries: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, fYR Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Tunisia.

About COST

ENOVA is a COST Action, funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union. COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks and helps connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

For further information, please visit the COST website:

Notes to editors: 

AFBI carries out high quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.

AFBI's Vision “Advancing the Local and Global Agri-Food Sectors Through Scientific Excellence”.

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