Senior Scientist, Consultant in Vaccinology; special emphasis on Bio-Standards and Assays. Working for Holst PharmaWorks, with CEPI as major client.
Johan Holst, MSci (Pharm), PhD, based in Oslo Norway, educated from the Institute of Pharmacy, University of Oslo. From August 2016 he has mainly served CEPI (Coalition for Preparedness Innovations) within the area of Enabling Science, supporting and facilitating the CEPI’s vaccine development projects. During most of his 37 year-long career Holst has been employed by Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH); occupied with development, characterization, evaluation and manufacturing of vaccines. Most projects have been international collaborations with private industry, often with coordinating support from WHO, PAHO or national governments. After starting with antigen characterization of potential candidates for acellular pertussis vaccines, he took on the role as Head of Control at NIPH, with the main responsibility for quality and characterization of a Nowegian Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) vaccine against serogroup B meningitis, used in an efficacy trial with 180,000 adolescents. Later he took part in pivotal collaborative studies, comparing two similar protein based, OMV vaccines against serogroup B meningitis; one from Norway and the other from the Finlay Institute, Cuba. A high profile clinical Phase II study in Chile was the international acknowledgement of the OMV vaccine concept being efficacious against serogroup B meningococcal disease (MenB), even protective in infants. Later findings from the Chilean study made the basis for a Public Health Intervention in New Zealand, where the whole population under 20 years to 6 weeks old were offered a “Tailor Made OMV vaccine in order to control a devastating MenB outbreak. The vaccine developed for the situation in New Zeland, MeNZB®, were subsequently used together with three recombinant proteins in Bexsero®, a vaccine with broad coverage against many different strains of MenB, for global use. The OMV concept has been further developed; also to cover other diseases, e.g. in the GMMA platform. In the field of vaccinology it often shows that the Public-Private Partnerships can have greatest impact. Experience from a number of such type of collaborative efforts made Holst work for CEPI already from 2016.