Hepatitis B (HBV) and C viruses (HCV) infect the human liver, causing a large number of infections worldwide. Currently, more than 500 million people are chronically infected with HBV or HCV and at high risk of developing severe liver complications as persistent inflammation, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Collectively, HBV and HCV infections are responsible for about 1.3 million deaths annually. There are several therapies available against HBV, but none of them cures the infection. On the other side, an efficient anti-HCV treatment is available, although it is highly expensive and unavailable for all individuals. Prevention remains the most effective strategy to control spreading of both HBV and HCV. Despite an existing safe anti-HBV vaccine, around 10% of the vaccinated individuals remain vulnerable to HBV infection. On the other hand, the high variability of the HCV genome prevented the development of an HCV vaccine to date. Therefore, SmartVac project aims at developing more immunogenic HBV antigens and novel antigenic candidates for an HCV vaccine, using plant and algae-based production systems. Plants and algae represent low-cost alternatives for antigens production that could enable the mass immunization programs in low income countries.
About EEA Grants
The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Eastern and Southern Europe and the Baltic states. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA Grants amount to €2.8 billion.
The priorities for this period are:
#1 Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness
#2 Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction
#3 Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy
#4 Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights
#5 Justice and Home Affairs
The EEA Grants are jointly financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, whose contributions arebased on their GDP. Eligibility for the Grants mirror the criteria set for the EU Cohesion Fund aimed at member countries where the Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average.
Splaiul Independentei 296
060031, Sector 6, Bucuresti
EEA Grants (2014-2021)
Next Generation Viral Hepatitis B and C vaccine development in plants and algae using advanced biotechnological tools
Project Acronym: SmartVac
Duration: 48 months
Funding: 1.500.000,00 euro