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Rockefeller Foundation, Pasteur Network Partner for Pathogen Surveillance, Sequencing

NEW YORK – The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute (PPI) and the Pasteur Network announced on Wednesday that they have inked an agreement to build a decentralized global infectious disease surveillance network. 

The collaboration will incorporate pathogen surveillance and genomic sequencing in order to detect emerging and reemerging diseases. It aims to enhance the effectiveness of PPI and the Pasteur Network's 33 member institutions, the organizations said in a statement. 

Rick Bright, CEO of PPI, said that the collaboration "will undoubtedly make a transformational impact on global health security," by leveraging equitable data-sharing practices to provide stakeholders and decision-makers with timely, accurate, and relevant information. 

"Our collective aim is to advance access to pathogen surveillance, genomic sequencing, analytics, and data sharing tools in low- and middle-income countries and to foster sentinel laboratory networks for early disease detection," Bright said. 

The partnership will focus on advancing equitable data sharing, bolstering epidemiological and genomic surveillance in low- and middle-income countries, and advancing access to pathogen surveillance and analytical tools. It also aims to enhance discovery of emerging and reemerging high consequence pathogens and support interdisciplinary research projects addressing the causes of outbreaks and epidemics. 

The combined networks will maintain local and regional structures to foster a permanent operational force and share technologies, systems, practices, and techniques with their networks, PPI and Pasteur Network said. 

Amadou Sall, president of the Pasteur Network, called the memorandum of understanding "a major milestone" in its collaboration with PPI that could lead to "significant impact" in epidemic and pandemic preparedness. 

"Together, the Pasteur Network and PPI are an effective combination of complementary talents and capacity to address global health threats," Sall said. 

Last year, PPI committed more than $20 million to research funding and collaborations, dedicated in part to increasing sequencing-based pathogen surveillance.