PATH expands work on vaccines against diarrheal disease

October 5, 2007 by PATH

PATH has received a $50 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to protect infants and children in low-resource countries by advancing development of safe, affordable, and effective new vaccines for two of the most important bacteria that cause diarrheal disease.

PATH is pleased to welcome Dr. Richard Walker as the director of this project, the Enteric Vaccine Initiative. Dr. Walker has over 25 years experience in vaccine development at the Naval Medical Research Institute, where he directed the enteric diseases program; the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute; and Antex Biologics, Inc. For the past seven years, he has served as director of the Division of Bacterial, Parasitic, and Allergenic Products at the US Food and Drug Administration.

Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children age five and younger. Each year, almost two million children throughout the world die from severe, dehydrating diarrhea, and millions more are hospitalized. PATH is pursuing a three-part strategy to enable worldwide access to life-saving vaccines against diarrhea.

The PATH Rotavirus Vaccine Program is working with the GAVI Alliance, the World Health Organization, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help countries access and afford the currently licensed vaccines against rotavirus—the most common cause of diarrheal illness and deaths.

To ensure a sufficient supply and competitive pricing of rotavirus vaccines, PATH’s Advancing Rotavirus Vaccine Development Project is working with several emerging manufacturers in China and India to develop new rotavirus vaccines.

PATH’s Enteric Vaccine Initiative will collaborate with private- and public-sector partners to advance the development of safe and effective vaccines against the leading bacterial causes of diarrheal disease: Shigella and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

Posted October 5, 2007.