Successful Development of Modern "Cold Chain" Free Vaccine Technology Promises to Reduce Deaths From Infections in the Developing World
News Oct 15, 2008
The need to distribute vaccines at low temperatures from manufacturing plant to patient (the 'cold chain') is one of the major reasons that very few people in the developing world are able to receive the modern vaccines which they desperately need. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infectious diseases kill at least 15 million people a year and this initiative could contribute to significantly reducing this number. This important humanitarian project is receiving funding from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
As a result of this research agreement the three parties will be working to create vaccine materials that are more stable, have a long shelf-life, require fewer doses in order to be effective and overcome the cold-chain storage and distribution problem associated with traditional vaccines. Vaccines with these novel attributes would represent a major advance, particularly for people in the developing world who are unnecessarily dying from diseases that can be prevented through more efficient delivery and storage of vaccinations.
The programme uses Lipoxen's liposomal 'Co-Delivery' technology, which combines DNA and protein forms of an antigen in liposomes, to generate a strong immune response after a single dose together with CBL's VitRIS technology that generates thermostable formulations which are are able to withstand both high temparatues and accidental freezing. The project will also assess the application of the VitRIS technology and develop a suitable manufacturing process for slow-release vaccines based on antigens supplied by the HPA.
The vaccine formulations developed as a result of this project are expected to have several advantages over conventional vaccines. These include the ability to be stockpiled for long periods and to be more efficacious than existing vaccines. This is important as it may allow lower doses to be administered, allowing much smaller supplies of modern vaccines (e.g. of pandemic vaccine) to be used to protect much greater numbers of people at risk in the event of a pandemic.
M. Scott Maguire, CEO of Lipoxen, said "We are excited to be entering into this unique first-class partnership and pooling our resources and expertise with Cambridge Biostability, Cambridge University and the HPA.
"We are also very excited that the improved delivery and vaccine effectiveness offered by our technology is allowing us to expand our work into addressing some of the health problems facing the developing world."
" Along with IAVI, the world's leading AIDS vaccine organization, who we are collaborating with to develop an HIV vaccine, this partnership may help us address some more of the world's most significant infectious diseases, which kill millions of people every year, and bring a longer and better quality of life to a significant number of people in the world's developing economies."
"I believe that this consortium is well-positioned to develop the next generation of vaccines which will be of immense benefit for the developing world vaccination programs. There is little doubt that significant improvements in public health and life expectancy could be achieved if modern vaccines could be delivered to a much greater proportion of the developing world's population."
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