Intravacc is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing vaccines that has in-house experience with all the aspects of the vaccine value chain to bridge the gap between basic research and advanced clinical studies in man. We work on safe, effective and affordable vaccine concepts in order to find sustainable solutions to improve public health worldwide. Intravacc is based in Bilthoven, The Netherlands and operates under the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sport. Originating from the former Vaccinology Unit of the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) and the Netherlands Vaccine Institute (NVI), we have over 100 years vaccinology experience, a proven track record in vaccine development and a small-scale production infrastructure covering the entire value chain. Last but not least, Intravacc has years of experience in research based on the 3R's. In particular, Intravacc has been involved in development and distribution of the consistency approach for vaccine lot release testing.
Role of Intravacc in VAC2VAC
Intravacc will be involved in developing analytical and immunochemical models (Work Package 1 and Work Package 2) for conformational fingerprinting of protein antigens to ensure preservation of B-cell epitopes as well as immunochemical methods to monitor antigen degradation. In addition, Intravacc will set up in vitro assays capable of indicating vaccine quality in terms of their ability to induce (parts of) both innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, as partner in Work Package 3 and Work Package 4, Intravacc will work with antigen-presenting cells (APC) and investigate maturation capacities of vaccines using innovative technologies with the goal to identify novel biomarkers for vaccine quality. In addition, the underlying mechanisms of APC activation and the potential of vaccines to induce adaptive responses will be analysed.
Dr. Bernard Metz received his master's degree in chemistry from the University of Groningen in 1998 and obtained his PhD on Structural Characterisation of Diphtheria toxoid at the University of Utrecht in 2005. He has an extensive track record in vaccine characterisation and assay development. He identified formaldehyde-induced modifications by mass spectrometry, discovering novel covalent modifications in proteins but also developed immunochemical and physicochemical assays that were predictive for potency. Besides this, his research interests are in the area of molecular biology and systems vaccinology.
Dr. Arjen Sloots obtained his PhD at the University of Frankfurt in 2004. His field of expertise is vaccine development, immunomodulation by bacterial pathogens and innate immunity. At Intravacc, he is responsible for Intravacc's 3R research activities and actively involved in the development of cell-based in vitro models for consistency testing of vaccines. Within the VAC2VAC project, he is the work package leader of Work Package 3 and a member of the Steering Committee.