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June 25, 2010

Nonprofit Organizations Join Forces to Evaluate Adjuvants for Pandemic Flu Vaccines

  • PATH and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) are teaming up to evaluate whether the latter’s emulsion adjuvants can boost the immune response to develop pandemic flu vaccines. PATH will provide the vaccine candidates and sponsor research at IDRI aimed at identifying promising vaccine-adjuvant combinations.

    “The collaboration is an important step toward enhancing the cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccines and expanding their availability to low-resource countries that would not otherwise be able to access them,” remarks Kathleen Neuzil, M.D., director of PATH’s influenza vaccine project.

    PATH is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to helping improve health globally. The organization works closely with international agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2008, PATH’s total revenues exceeded $187 million, provided by other foundations, governments, multilateral agencies, industry, and individuals. Project-specific foundation and government grants currently make up more than 90% of PATH’s operating budget, it states.

    PATH’s expertise spans immunodiagnostics and vaccine development, vaccine distribution systems, business development, education, and training together with public health, epidemiology, technology design, development, transfer, and introduction.

    IDRI is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization committed to the application of innovative science for the development of products to prevent, detect, and treat infectious diseases of poverty. Target diseases include leishmaniasis, tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, Chagas disease, chlamydia, and Buruli ulcer. The organization works in close collaboration with industry, universities, hospitals, government, and private funding agencies as well as WHO and other international agencies.

    In addition to the development of simple diagnostics for a number of its target diseases, IDRI says its notable successes include development of the first defined clinical-stage vaccine for leishmaniasis. The Phase II-stage vaccine has already completed trials in the U.S., Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and India. Other Phase II studies are ongoing. In the field of tuberculosis, IDRI’s team has also been instrumental in the discovery and early evaluation of the first protein-based TB vaccine candidate, it states. The vaccine is currently continuing in development, and a next-generation product is also in progress.

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