The Royal Society convened a meeting on the 17th and 18th November 2010 to review the current ways in which vaccines are developed and deployed, and to make recommendations as to how each of these processes might be accelerated. The meeting brought together academics, industry representatives, research sponsors, regulators, government advisors and representatives of international public health agencies from a broad geographical background. Discussions were held under Chatham House rules. High-throughput screening of new vaccine antigens and candidates was seen as a driving force for vaccine discovery. Multi-stakeholder, small-scale manufacturing facilities capable of rapid production of clinical grade vaccines are currently too few and need to be expanded. In both the human and veterinary areas, there is a need for tiered regulatory standards, differentially tailored for experimental and commercial vaccines, to allow accelerated vaccine efficacy testing. Improved cross-fertilization of knowledge between industry and academia, and between human and veterinary vaccine developers, could lead to more rapid application of promising approaches and technologies to new product development. Identification of best-practices and development of checklists for product development plans and implementation programmes were seen as low-cost opportunities to shorten the timeline for vaccine progression from the laboratory bench to the people who need it.
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