In February 2023 BactiVac, the Bacterial Vaccines Network, announced that it had secured £1 million in funding from Wellcome to “accelerate the development of bacterial vaccines” and “combat the threat” of AMR.  


BactiVac comprises 1,400 members across 78 countries, bringing academia, undustry, policymakers, and funders together with the goal of advancing the development of vaccines against “bacterial pathogens of global importance”. It is hosted at the University of Birmingham in the UK and was established in 2017 by Professors Calman MacLennan and Adam Cunningham.  

“From the start, BactiVac has been a leading advocate for bacterial vaccinology, enabled collaborations in vaccine development through research project funding, delivered key training for members, supported training exchanges, and hosted Annual Network Meetings.” 

BactiVac has a specific focus on LMICs, aiming to “address bottlenecks” and “capacity building among early career researchers in these countries”.   

Bacterial infections 

BactiVac states that “over 7 million people” die from bacterial infections each year. Director of Infectious Diseases at Wellcome, Professor Gordon Dougan, described the “scale of the challenge” that “deadly bacterial infections” and AMR present as “clearer than ever before”.  

“We are proud to continue supporting [BactiVac] as they embark on scaling up their impact.” 

Funding for 4 years 

The funding from Wellcome is expected to “enhance the impact” of the Network over 4 years. BactiVac Co-Director Professor Calman MacLennon is “delighted” at the news, hoping to “build on what has been achieved over the first five years”. 

“We will…continue to promote the development of bacterial vaccines and champion their importance in overcoming the silent pandemic of antimicrobial resistance.”  

Professor Adam Cunningham, another Co-Director, is “grateful” for the “generous support” and shared vision.  

“In this exciting new phase, BactiVac will continue to support its membership to develop new vaccines, particularly those that are relevant to LMICs.”  

For more on BactiVac’s vision, read our interview with Dr Micoli here. We look forward to hearing further details on vaccine advances from BactiVac at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington this April. Join us there by purchasing your tickets today.