until a few years ago, the interval between virus analysis and marketing authorisation of a vaccine would have been at least 15 years. An enormous acceleration in vaccine development has been made possible by new technologies, previous experience with vaccine projects against related viruses and the prioritisation of all approval and marketing authorisation procedures by medicines agencies. Since late December 2020, just under a year after the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 has been available to people in Europe and thus in Germany. This is a fantastic achievement, in which academic and industrial research and development, political and regulatory support have all played their part.
At the same time, great efforts are also being made to develop medicinal products for treating people who have been infected with the SARS coronavirus 2. As the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut has contributed to this unprecedented development, on both a national and international level, through scientific and regulatory advice for medicine developers, approval of clinical trials, evaluation of medicinal products in the European marketing authorisation procedures, pharmacovigilance after marketing authorisation, as well as official testing and its own research. Even though the focus of attention was very much on the COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, it should not be forgotten that the availability of all other biomedicines also continued to be ensured for the benefit of patients during the pandemic.
With our biennial report 2019/2020, which for the first time we are offering as an online report, it gives me great pleasure to invite you to discover a little more about the variety of our duties at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. In interviews and articles, you will find information about the challenges of our regulatory work, our research activities and the further development of our organisation, which is designed to actively pave the way for high-quality, safe and effective vaccines and biomedicines in the future. Our biennial report also takes a look behind the scenes and introduces you to the people who, through their work, are making a contribution to our health and to overcoming the pandemic. In addition, the facts and figures section provides an overview of our research projects, marketing authorisation services, finance and publications.
I hope it gives you some interesting insights into the work of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut.
Prof. Klaus Cichutek
President of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut