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Developing countries like India can now afford vaccine for bacterial Meningitis

Press Trust of India
23rd Oct 2015
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Hilleman Laboratories has made developments with respect to increased efficacy and reduced cost of Bacterial Meningitis vaccine and published a scientific report based on the synthesis of the meningitis vaccine for Neisseria Meningitidis serogroup X.


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The incidence of endemic meningococcal disease in India is low, but its occasional epidemics have been recorded for at least 100 years, a statement from Hilleman Laboratories said in Guwahati. The vaccine available for the disease is extremely expensive which becomes difficult for developing countries like India to have affordability and accessibility to the vaccine, the Laboratories said.

Towards bridging this gap Hilleman Laboratories, an equal joint-venture partnership formed between Merck & Co and Wellcome Trust, is a global charitable foundation that is committed to making affordable vaccines using innovation to address gaps that exist in low resource settings, it said.

Stating that a large capital investment is required for creating any vaccine, it said Hilleman has, however, taken an approach that will allow the vaccine to be created at a lesser cost, thus ensuring the vaccine manufacturers can create low cost vaccines.

The Laboratories published a scientific report of an efficient synthetic strategy for the Royal Society of Chemistry addressing the critical issue of the rise of meningitis sero groups, the statement said . While research is still under process and trials are ongoing, the first report has shown positive results and it is ten times more effective than the existing vaccine, said the statement of the global vaccine research and development organisation.

Hilleman Laboratories 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. Hilleman Laboratories Chief executive Officer Dr Davinder Gill sharing the thought process behind developing this formulation said the foundation proposed to undertake research and development, conduct tests, evaluate its impact on the country’s economy.

The role of the formulation in the vaccine scenario in terms of accessibility, affordability and acceptability, besides the contribution in bridging the immunisation gap in the country would also be assessed, the statement quoted Gill. Stating that bacterial meningitis can be deadly and contagious among people in close contact, the Laboratories said the bacteria can spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.

A person develops bacterial meningitis when bacteria gets into the bloodstream from the sinuses, ears or other parts of the upper respiratory tract, it added.

Image Credit: Shutterstock


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