The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded Takeda Pharmaceuticals a $38 million grant to support development of a low-cost polio vaccine.
Takeda will use this financing to “develop, license, and supply at least 50 million doses per year of so-called Sabin-strain inactivated poliovirus vaccine (sIPV) to more than 70 developing countries,” according to Reuters.
Rajeev Venkaya, the head of Takeda’s vaccines unit, told Reuters that the Gates grant would “de-risk the investment” needed to advance this vaccine candidate through the last phase of clinical trials, licensing deals, and then putting it on the market. Venkayya added that the vaccine candidate has completed mid-stage Phase 2 trials, but the firm needs to do more work when it comes to development and testing.
Gavi, a global alliance for vaccines and immunizations, will work with the World Health Organization and similar entities to ensure the injection is available at affordable prices in these countries.
Ultimately, this partnership could help enable the switch between oral polio vaccines to the Sabin-strain inactive poliovirus vaccines in an effort to keep samples of the virus before it’s eradicated.
A total of 12 cases of polio, which causes damaging paralysis, were recorded in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2016 so far. Reuters explained global experts have said stopping all polio transmissions is possible by the end of the year whereas another report theorizes the total global eradication of this disease could occur by the end of the decade.
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Filed Under: Drug Discovery