Gates backs vaccine tech for developing countries

PATH is using a $39 million grant from the Gates Foundation to help developing countries identify ways to manufacture and stockpile vaccines that could be used to defend their populations against an influenza pandemic. Developed countries have already spent millions of dollars stockpiling hundreds of millions of doses of flu vaccine. But PATH notes that developing countries are likely to be left to their own devices in the event of a pandemic. The Gates moneys will go to public and private vaccine development partnerships.

"We're not focusing on currently available products," John Boslego, director of PATH's vaccine development global program, tells FierceVaccines. "We're going for newer technologies that we think have a lot of attraction to them. There's a lot of work going on in small biotech and big pharma to make vaccines quickly and cheaply. We form business deals and we provide money and expertise in collaborations that hopefully result in licensed products. During that time we're exploring ways to get additional product out to those countries. PATH can help (developers) understand the difficulties of vaccine delivery and manufacturing in developing countries. This lets us work with partners to think about the end game."

"The type of things we're looking at mostly are preclinical," he adds. "A few of them are just in to man. As a general rule, we're looking at a time frame of a decade."

"New, affordable vaccines are urgently needed to protect developing country populations and strengthen worldwide efforts to contain an outbreak," said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, a vaccine expert at the World Health Organization.

- read the report from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

ALSO: Top Institute Pharma has created a new research program involving a consortium of scientists from biotechnology and academia which will work to develop a new malaria vaccine. The TI project is working with a $23.6 million budget. Sanaria of Rockville, Maryland, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Leiden University Medical Center will all participate. Release