An international consortium aiming to ensure that the clinical research community is better prepared for the next influenza pandemic or other rapidly emerging public health threat has been launched by by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Medical Research Council, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Inserm, Li Ka Shing Oxford Global Health Programme and the Singapore Ministry of Health on December 7, 2011 during the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The Institut Pasteur International Network is one of the initial members of the International Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Consortium (ISARIC)
This consortium is a global collaboration of more than 20 hospital-based clinical research networks. It aims to ensure clinical researchers have in place the necessary open access protocols and data-sharing processes - and have considered the ethical issues - that will allow them to respond to rapidly emerging diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential, such as the recent pandemic H1N1 influenza and SARS outbreaks (and, potentially, other rapidly emerging public health threats).
Read the press release.
Image: A model of the H1N1 (‘swine flu’) virus. Credit: Anna Tanczos, Wellcome Images.