GISAID announces a major contribution from Seqirus to support open and rapid sharing of influenza virus data

2018-07-26 21:00 777

MUNICH, July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), a non-profit organization and public-private partnership dedicated to strengthening the world's defense against deadly influenza threats, today welcomed a €250,000 donation from Seqirus, a leading innovator in influenza vaccine technologies and pandemic response solutions.

GISAID is recognized as the world's foremost global collaboration of scientists and governments, from developed and developing countries, to promote the near-real time exchange and analysis of data on the ever-changing influenza viruses that threaten global populations. It has brought together 8,000 scientists from 1,000 institutions around the world to create the largest and most up-to-date publicly-accessible collection of genetic data on influenza viruses.

This initial contribution from Seqirus is the first of its kind from the influenza vaccine industry and will bolster GISAID's efforts to advance bioinformatics and the interpretation of influenza data. The donation will be used to enhance GISAID's database, to fund education programmes that aim to strengthen understanding of the impact of influenza and to support general operations.

"Seqirus is proud to support GISAID in its mission to provide open and rapid access to influenza virus data for the public health good of all nations," said Gordon Naylor, President of Seqirus.  "The GISAID platform plays a crucial role in the timely identification of changes in the viruses to reduce response times and mitigate the impact of seasonal and pandemic influenza."

"The centenary year of the 1918 pandemic presents an opportune moment to reflect on progress made against the threat of pandemic influenza," said Peter Bogner, President of GISAID. "We are grateful for Seqirus' generous support for the global influenza community. By strengthening the sustainability of GISAID, Seqirus is helping to ensure the world will be better prepared when a similar event emerges to threaten global health".

The GISAID Initiative is an international public-private partnership which provides a data sharing platform hosted by the Federal Republic of Germany, featuring a unique mechanism that ensures free, open, unhindered collection and dissemination of influenza genetic information, also essential for the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and the biannual WHO influenza vaccine recommendations. GISAID is a key player in global health security and crucial for pandemic preparedness of the global community, as evident in the early response to the 2009 influenza pandemic and to emerging threat of H7N9 bird flu in China. In 2017, Health Ministers of the G20 recognized the importance of GISAID.

About Seqirus: 
Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group employs more than 20,000 people and has operations in more than 60 countries. As one of the largest influenza vaccine providers in the world, Seqirus is a major contributor to the prevention of influenza globally and a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness. It has leading R&D capabilities, a broad portfolio of differentiated products and a commercial presence in more than 20 countries.

Media Contacts:
GISAID - Todd Ringler    +1 (917) 251-8613
Seqirus - Polina Miklush +1 (908) 608-7170

Source: GISAID
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