Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Hilleman Laboratories: Improving Access to Lifesaving Vaccines in Developing Countries

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The earliest documented instances of vaccination come from 10th century China, where healthy individuals were deliberately exposed to the infection of small pox. 700 years later, Edward Jenner developed a vaccine against small pox. Louis Pasteur followed the footsteps of Jenner and after a century developed the vaccine against rabies And then, at the dawn of bacteriology, developments rapidly followed. The credit goes to Maurice Hilleman, an American microbiologist, the father of modern vaccine science for revolutionising the spectrum of preventive healthcare through vaccination. Of the 14 routinely recommended vaccines, Hilleman developed eight: vaccine for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chicken pox, meningitis, pneumonia and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria.
However, in the twentieth century, vaccine development is fraught with three pronged challenges. The timeline on vaccine development hasn’t shortened even after years of research. Many hard to treat diseases still evade a vaccine solution and most importantly, vaccines remain inaccessible to many people in the developing economies. Hence, diseases that can be prevented through vaccination continue to afflict mankind.
Headquartered in India, Hilleman Laboratories, a joint venture between Merck & Company, a global research-driven pharmaceutical company and Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to human and animal health is a global vaccine research and development organization focused on making affordable vaccines using innovation to address gaps that exist in low resource settings. Several barriers hamper the access to life-saving vaccines to millions in developing economies. Investing in vaccine development is not a lucrative financial investment for private investors. Many vaccines that have been developed in the market today were developed and manufactured with industrialized world citizens in mind.
Hilleman Laboratories aims to fill gaps in vaccine development for developing countries by
  • Leveraging the founder's strengths in biomedical research for health in developing countries.
  • Attracting a broad range of potential partners to contribute to the goal of developing new or improved vaccines for developing countries.
  • Working towards a sustainable, long-term operating plan by prudently utilizing grant income and compensation from licensing revenues.
  • Encouraging innovation, affordability and sustainability in order to achieve a long term impact.
In order to improve access to life-saving vaccination to people in developing economies, Hilleman Laboratories aims to create a novel immunization platform by employing modern technologies focusing on:
  • Thermostability
  • Ease-of-administration
  • Reduced Footprint
  • Affordability
To realise the objective of improving access to life-saving vaccines in developing countries, Hilleman Laboratories seeks to collaborate, exchange ideas and build a meaningful dialogue and advocacy platform for vaccine discovery to ultimately strengthen public health systems and immunization programs in the long-term.
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About Me

Hilleman Laboratories is a global vaccine research & development organization focused on making affordable vaccines using innovation to address gaps that exist in low resource settings. Hilleman Labs acts as a catalyst in bridging the gap between academic research and product development by targeting novel vaccines and increasing the efficiency of existing vaccines. Know More

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