CBER has been a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Biological Standardization since 1998, formalizing its commitment to support the work of WHO after decades of scientific contributions. CBER is currently in its fourth four-year term which will run until February 2016.
A WHO Collaborating Center is an institution, designated by the Director-General of WHO, to form part of a network that carries out activities in support of WHO’s mandated international health work. WHO Collaborating Centers contribute to concrete activities at the national, regional, and global levels, to advance public health priorities.
WHO is mandated by its Member States to develop, establish, and promote International Standards for biological products. WHO International Standards are developed through collaboration which is based on achieving scientific consensus through international consultations, engagement with regional and national regulatory authorities, manufacturers, and expert laboratories and the work of the WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization (ECBS).
WHO relies on the scientific and technical expertise and resources of WHO Collaborating Centers to carry out its mandated work. Collaboration with subject matter experts from around the world enhances the scientific validity of WHO’s work, and helps to gain international acceptance of the work product.
Designation as a WHO Collaborating Center is accompanied by a set of terms of reference that are mutually agreed upon by CBER and WHO. The purpose, scope and areas of activity for each term are captured within the “Terms of Reference”.
The Terms of Reference for the current term (2012-2016) are:
- To contribute to PAHO and WHO programs to establish physical (reference) standards for biologicals (vaccines, blood/blood products, relevant in vitro diagnostic tests, cellular products)
- To contribute to PAHO and WHO programs to develop written standards for biologicals (vaccines, blood/blood products, relevant in vitro diagnostic tests, cellular products)
- To support implementation of biological standards by contributing to PAHO and WHO efforts to strengthen regulatory capacity of National Regulatory Authorities
- To contribute to research activities that advance standardization for biologicals (vaccines, blood/blood products, relevant in vitro diagnostic test, cellular products)
CBER will apply to renew its designation as a WHO Collaborating Center for the next four year period (2016-2020).