MSD AND THE WELLCOME TRUST INVEST IN TRANSFORMATIVE AFFORDABLE VACCINES
Tens of millions of children and adults lack access to life-saving vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, representing a huge gap in global preventive healthcare provision. Due to the lack of commercial return, private-sector investment is also limited in new vaccines for diseases that mainly affect low-income countries.
Further complicating efforts to expand access, pharmaceutical companies are grappling with how best to adapt existing vaccines for effective delivery in developing and emerging countries—including through greater thermostability, easier administration, and especially affordability.
In 2009, MSD and the Wellcome Trust jointly established the non-profit Hilleman Laboratories in Delhi, India, with a mission to develop affordable vaccines that address gaps in low-resource settings where disease burden is often highest. A decade later, the first-of-its-kind initiative has several promising programs underway evaluating early-stage vaccine candidates. These include an optimized cholera vaccine; a vaccine for Shigella, which causes severe diarrhea and dysentery; and a low-cost Meningococcal conjugate vaccine.