Liverpool will be headquarters of fight against future pandemics

By Liam Thorp

Liverpool will be the headquarters of a new Pandemic Institute - a world leading partnership committed to helping the world prevent, prepare for and respond more effectively to pandemics.

Launching tomorrow (Monday September 13), the Pandemic Institute is a medical, academic and civic partnership between the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool).

The partners and teams involved have an 'unrivalled' breadth of world-leading clinical, academic, public health and data-driven expertise, all co-located on one campus.

Read more: Nearly 200,000 in Merseyside yet to get a first covid jab

The Institute will have significant global reach with collaborations and hubs located across the world.

The creation of this major institute comes after Liverpool pioneered a number of innovative approaches and projects during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city was the first to pilot mass testing for the virus last November and in the Spring Liverpool played host to the first pilot events, which provided data and evidence to help the government to reopen key sectors of the economy.

Initially funded by a £10 million gift from Innova Medical Group, the world’s largest provider of rapid antigen tests, the Pandemic Institute will be headquartered in The Spine, at Paddington Village.

The Spine is soon to be designated one of the world’s healthiest buildings and the newest addition to KQ Liverpool’s growing Health and Life Science campus.

The Pandemic Institute will offer world-leading clinical and research expertise across all stages of the pandemic lifecycle.

It will have global reach, working across the world to deliver new science and build preparedness for future pandemics.

The outputs of its work will be rapidly translated into tangible policy, solutions and activity, ensuring real world impact for governments, businesses and individuals across the globe.

The overall aim is to accelerate the global response to pandemics, unify global intelligence and increase the reach and impact of pandemic research.

Professor Matthew Baylis, Director of the Pandemic Institute, said: “The Pandemic Institute has the potential to help revolutionise how the world responds to pandemics.

“Uniquely, it will take a holistic view, from looking at future threats through to the response of communities and the healthcare system as well as treatments such as medicines and vaccines.

“Liverpool is perfectly placed to be the home for the Pandemic Institute – building on the foundations laid so far in the city, and its significant contributions in this field, Liverpool is a global city with expertise in many fields relevant to pandemics, including medical, tropical and veterinary research.

“We appreciate Innova's support of the Pandemic Institute, and recognise the impact and significance of their generous gift for the city of Liverpool and wider global community.”

Daniel Elliott, CEO and President of Innova Medical Group, said: “Innova is committed to improving pandemic outcomes globally and we were attracted to Liverpool after being impressed by the unparalleled amount of large-scale pilot research programmes and the guidance on global public health policy that Liverpool provided during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are passionate about supporting organisations that will make a difference and it is clear now that pandemics are the biggest threat to the health of the world’s population, and that is why we are excited to support Liverpool’s partners with the Pandemic Institute, which has the potential to save lives and improve health outcomes for communities across the globe."

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