Spotlight on... GSK partners with Australian scientists to make cheaper pediatric vaccines; Profectus wins $4.6M DOD grant for equine encephalitis vaccine; TapImmune's ovarian cancer vaccine gets FDA's Orphan Drug designation; and more...

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) is teaming up with researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, to develop new manufacturing methods to make vaccines cheaper for children in the developing world. The news comes a month after Glaxo and Pfizer ($PFE) faced renewed pressure from Médecins Sans Frontières to reduce the prices of their pneumococcal vaccines. The company is working on applying blow-fill-seal technology for its oral vaccines, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. This involves making plastic vials and filling them with vaccine. One of the challenges the company identified was keeping the vaccine at a low enough temperature not to kill it while heating the plastic vials to 160 degrees Celsius during their formation. More

> Baltimore-based Profectus BioSciences received a $4.6 million grant from the Department of Defense to develop a vaccine for Western, Eastern and Venezuela Equine Encephalitis, a mosquito-borne virus that can cause brain inflammation in horses and humans. Release

> TapImmune's TPIV 200 vaccine for ovarian cancer received Orphan Drug designation from the FDA. Article

> Paul Newman was appointed head of communications for Takeda's vaccine business unit. Story

> Gavi, the global vaccine alliance, pledged $500 million over the next 5 years to support India's universal immunization program. FiercePharmaAsia story

> Stanford University immunologists have identified patterns of gene expression that distinguish people with a viral infection from those with a bacterial infection, and another pattern that distinguishes people who have the flu from those who have other respiratory infections. This can help determine if someone is responding to vaccination. Release