Infectious diseases continue to pose a significant threat to human health, with many types of infections having far-reaching, global consequences. The ability to develop vaccines, therapeutics, devices and diagnostics to prevent, treat, and identify infectious diseases is a critical public health need. Clinical trials are an integral component of these development efforts. Since the 1960s the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) have conducted trials that have evaluated promising vaccine and therapeutic candidates for infectious diseases such as influenza (including pandemic and avian influenza), malaria, tuberculosis, pneumococcal infection, in children and adults. In addition, the VTEUs have quickly launched trials in response to newly emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, such as the 2009 influenza H1N1 pandemic, and Waves 1 and 5 of the H7N9 avian influenza outbreaks in China. These efforts have provided data that informed public health policy. This proposal is in response to a new VTEU structure which will involve greater collaboration between the VTEUs, NIAID, and the newly formed Leadership Group structure that are all part of the NIAID Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC). The IDCRC will enhance integration and efficiency of operations and, importantly, will foster the collaborative team science approaches now recognized as optimal to address important and complicated public health research priorities. Under the new cooperative agreement, the Kaiser Washington VTEU will continue to conduct clinical research and trials, including trials conducted under an IND or IDE, within the Kaiser Washington integrated care system to contribute to the priority research foci of NIAID. These priority areas include malaria, influenza and other respiratory infections, acute respiratory infections and include clinical trials, including human challenge models, and pharmacokinetic studies. The research will be conducted in collaboration with Seattle area infectious disease research partners who will provide scientific expertise, specialized facilities, and advanced immunologic laboratory capabilities. The Kaiser Washington VTEU will also develop and maintain surge capacity for clinical site, pharmacy and laboratory operations to enable the rapid initiation of clinical trials and other studies in response to emerging and reemerging infectious disease threats of public health importance.
Infectious diseases continue to pose a significant threat to human health, with many types of infections having far-reaching, global consequences. The Kaiser Washington Vaccine and Treatment Unit will work with other centers and the National Institutes of Health to conduct clinical trials and research studies of ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases such as influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis, by using vaccines or anti-infective agents, or by finding better ways to identify these infections. We will also maintain the ability to respond quickly to emerging infectious disease threats, such as an influenza pandemic, to protect public health.