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A £5m partnership for research into preventing a “devastating” flu outbreak has been launched in Liverpool.

The five-year partnership between between the University of Liverpool’s Pandemic Institute and vaccine giant Seqirus in Speke will launch projects aimed at preventing an influenza outbreak and to accelerate innovations around infection control.

Prof Tom Solomon, director of the Pandemic Institute, said it was "committed to helping the world prevent, prepare, and respond more effectively to pandemics".

He added that the research would look at distribution of vaccines and at avian influenza.
"We look forward to bringing our combined intelligence and resources together to generate scientific excellence with societal impact for all."

Seqirus, which employs 800 people at a vaccine manufacturing facility in Speke, is responsible for providing financial support as well as research materials and scientific and technical expertise.

According to Sharon McHale, Vice-president, Seqirus there has been low levels of flu over the past two years, but experts predict that it is only a matter of time before it returns. She said: "There is a still a lot more to be done to improve protection."

The latest announcements follow the recent publishing of the first ever Liverpool City Region Innovation Prospectus, which showcases the region’s innovation strengths and more than £12bn worth of investment opportunities.

Mayor Steve Rotheram added: "The city region is marching ahead as a trailblazer in science and innovation."

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