We are all on the same team

Growing together towards RSV prevention

Langedijk, Annefleur

Prof.dr. L.J. (Louis) Bont
Dr. J.G. (Joanne) Wildenbeest
Research group:
October 27, 2023
16:15 h


The harmonious dance between academia and industry This is an exciting time for RSV research. With the recent approval of the first-ever RSV vaccines and monoclonal antibody (mAb) for all infants, we are on the cusp of major advances in the prevention of RSV disease. Of these RSV vaccines, many are a result of joint research between academia and industry. The rationale is that these PPPs overcome challenges in financing, implementation and delivery of infrastructure and public services, based on the assumption that the private sector brings additional finance and competence and that private companies are inherently more efficient than the public sector in delivering high-quality public services. While the concept of PPPs appears straightforward, the implementation may face multiple challenges. PPPs are complex as the value for money is often ethically questioned and the procurement processes can be lenghty because of legal and regulatory barriers. Lack of transparency and accountability may be the top barrier of PPPs, however, legal barriers including approval and permits and law and regulation changes may also slow down the process. With RSV prevention within reach and the potential risk of PPPs creating complex challenges, we have explored how PPPs co-create value in RSV research. Is industry-funded RSV research on balance beneficial? Clearly it is. Ultimately, the positives of PPPs in RSV research heavily outweigh the negatives. The question is not whether there may be conflicts of interest for – there are. Rather, the goal is to work around those and achieve a fair, transparent, unbiased, and scientifically valid result that benefits all. We cannot pretend that the public sector owns public health: promoting clarity and transparency in clinical research is an intrinsic public health good and a shared responsibility of both academia and industry. While pure academic research is an important adjuvant to industry-supported development, it cannot replace the focus or scope of industry funding. In the graceful choreography uniting academia and industry, the orchestrated symphony of PPPs unveils not just scientific advancements, but also weaves a melodic tapestry of collaborative determination that forges a future fortified against RSV.

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