New EU project WORMVACS to tackle parasitic worm infections
Leiden, The Netherlands – October 24-25, 2023
On 24 and 25 October 2023, the WORMVACs2.0 consortium kicked-off a new 5-year EU-funded project that aims to develop vaccines against schistosome and hookworm infections.
The WORMVACS2.0 consortium met at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) on 24 and 25 October 2023 for its first full consortium meeting. WORMVACS is funded by Horizon Europe and brings together partners from research and medical centres, academia and industry to respond to the urgent need to develop effective vaccines to support control and elimination of schistosome and hookworm infections. LINQ will support the coordinator Prof Cornelis Hokke from LUMC in the administrative, financial and contractual management and facilitate project communication, dissemination and exploitation.
Infections with helminths (parasitic worms) caused by soil-transmitted hookworms and water-borne schistosomes cause a massive global health burden. To date, success of therapy is hampered by the lack of resistance against reinfection after drug treatment, and effective prophylactic vaccines against helminths do not exist. Therefore, WORMVACS2.0 will establish an effective pipeline to support helminth vaccine development.
The WORMVACS2.0 consortium brings together 12 partners from Europe, Africa, Australia and the United States with extensive expertise and skills in infection biology, immunoparasitology, clinic, plant biotechnology, drug and next-generation vaccine development, and strives to produce a diversified portfolio of hookworm and schistosome vaccine candidates ready for progressing to clinical testing, and to conduct a phase 1 clinical trial to advance an mRNA platform-based schistosomiasis vaccine. Ultimately, the ambitious aim of WORMVACS2.0 is to be able to control and eliminate one of the world's most devastating and persistent tropical diseases (NTDs).
The kick-off meeting was an opportunity for all consortium partners to meet face-to-face, discuss potential challenges they may face during project implementation and develop a detailed action plan for the first year of WORMVACS2.0. Following work package presentations including their objectives and tasks, a long break-out session allowed the partners to cooperatively discuss their action items and align on immediate next steps. The meeting was concluded by a mini symposium held by some of the consortium's most experienced professors with scientific talks related to new insights in vaccine and drug research for parasitic infections.
LINQ helped plan and organise the event and provided all practical information needed by project members to safely navigate through the contractual, administrative and financial framework of Horizon Europe in general and WORMVACS2.0 specifically. Our team members Dr Vera Schneider and Alessia Perrone loved meeting everyone in person and look forward to supporting the consortium on their five-year journey.
WORMVACS is a 5-year project funded by the European Unions’ research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, under Grant Agreement N°101080784. It is coordinated by Prof Cornelis Hokke from Leiden University Medical Centre and managed by LINQ.
Learn more about WORMVACS on the project website.