isirv and NISN Join Together
After discussions over the past year or so, 10th March 2011 saw completion of a formal agreement to bring together the Neuraminidase Inhibitor Susceptibility Network (NISN)and the International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (isirv). NISN becomes the first Special Interest Group of isirv and will henceforth be known as the isirv Antiviral Group.
The Group's first major activity as a part of isirv will be organisation, together with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil, and PAHO, of an international meeting on Influenza Antivirals: Efficacy and Resistance, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, 8-10 November 2011.
Since its formation in 1999, NISN has played a major role in the independent monitoring of antiviral drug resistance against the Neuraminidase Inhibitor (NI) group of drugs,first developing methodology for surveillance of antiviral resistance, and latterly helping to build the capacity of national reference agencies to undertake such work.
The Group has been an informal association of around ten leading scientists. In its search for ways to have a more formal status and structure, discussions began with isirv, which has which has registration as a British charity and incorporation as a not-for-profit agency. It was soon evident that there was much potential synergy. NISN brought a strong scientific reputation in a particular area of influenza science; isirv was rapidly growing as the key global scientific society in the field.
To facilitate the merger, isirv developed a structure for 'Special Interest Groups'. This was approved at its AGM last September, opening the way to creating an appropriate new home for NISN. It is also hoped that other interest areas will make use of this new structure, and indeed the Board has already received a couple of expressions of interest.
In making the move to isirv, NISN members also decided to demonstrate that their interest was expanding to antivirals more generally, thus leading to the choice of a new name, the isirv Antiviral Group. It is expected that, in June, further decisions will be made about how the new Group will operate, and after that, other members of isirv will be able to join.
The Board of isirv and the members of NISN together believe that this association will do much to benefit the growth, activities and standing of isirv while also leading to a new era of wider activity and involvement for what was NISN.