PATH: Claire Hudson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206.302.4521.
Seattle, WA, March 14, 2016: PATH today announced the formation of the PATH Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access to accelerate the development and introduction of lifesaving vaccines for the most vulnerable children and communities around the world.
The new center will build on PATH's nearly 20 years of success in developing and delivering vaccines to improve global health. It brings together PATH's vaccine projects into a single team working across every stage of the long and complex process of vaccine research, development, and introduction.
Working in partnership with a wide range of national health ministries, pharmaceutical manufacturers, donors, and international financing and regulatory organizations, PATH has reached billions of people around the world with lifesaving vaccines and immunization technologies.
PATH's current vaccine work includes more than two dozen vaccines either in development or already in use to protect against 15 different diseases. PATH's vaccine development efforts focus on the leading causes of children's deaths worldwide–pneumonia, diarrheal disease, and malaria–as well as other global health priorities, such as polio and meningitis.
The organization also works to improve the health of children and communities by boosting access to immunization and making new vaccines rapidly and widely available. PATH's work includes developing innovative tools that make it easier for health care workers to administer vaccines and keep perishable vaccines at the right temperatures in even the most remote communities.
"Our goal in creating this new Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access is to accelerate the development of new vaccines and help ensure that every child in the world has access to immunization," said Steve Davis, president and chief executive officer of PATH. "The new center will bring together our experts across all aspects of vaccine development and delivery and enable PATH to work even more effectively with a wide range of vaccine development funders, health officials, regulators, and pharmaceutical and device manufacturers to make lifesaving vaccines available. It will also enable us to respond more effectively to new and rapidly evolving threats such as the recent Ebola and Zika outbreaks."
"We are committed to developing vaccines and related technologies that meet the needs of those living in the lowest-resource settings," said Dr. David Kaslow, vice president for product development, and head of the new Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access. "The new center will bring together PATH's expertise across the entire vaccine development and introduction process, from preclinical research on novel vaccine concepts to regulatory approval and policy review, from design and conduct of field trials to innovative approaches for new vaccine introduction."
PATH works as a trusted partner with communities and local health authorities in more than 70 countries to understand their needs and priorities, and then collaborates with laboratories and researchers to harness the most innovative scientific solutions and adapt them to low-resource settings.
PATH collaborates with manufacturers to accelerate development timelines and make vaccines affordable, and with clinical researchers to evaluate vaccine candidates and secure regulatory approval.
In addition, PATH serves as a technical advisor to governments to support immunization decision-making, planning, and implementation. For example, PATH's Better Immunization Data Initiative helps countries improve immunization and overall health service delivery through improved data collection, quality, and use.
PATH's vaccine work also includes both novel technologies and innovative strategies for storing, monitoring, and transporting vaccines and other essential medicines at safe temperatures, especially in low-resource settings.
PATH has led or managed numerous global partnerships on vaccines and immunization, including the Meningitis Vaccine Project, the Rotavirus Vaccine Program, the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Program, and the Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
PATH helped to develop and introduce MenAfriVac®, the first vaccine developed specifically for Africa. Since introduction in 2010, more than 235 million Africans have been immunized, leading to near elimination of deadly meningitis A disease in the African "meningitis belt."
PATH's Rotavirus Vaccine Program accelerated rotavirus vaccine availability–marking the first time in history a new vaccine introduction occurred simultaneously in high- and low-income countries.
PATH's Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Program secured a high-quality, affordable vaccine against one of the leading viral causes of childhood disability in Asia, reaching over 220 million children in six countries.
PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative partnered with GlaxoSmithKline on the development and testing of the RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate. In January 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended RTS,S for pilot implementations in young children in sub-Saharan Africa.
PATH worked in partnership to develop the vaccine vial monitor, which shows when a vaccine has exceeded a safe temperature. More than 5 billion of these vaccine vial monitors have been used around the world. UNICEF and WHO have estimated that the use of vaccine vial monitors, on basic vaccines alone, saves approximately US$14 million per year by preventing the discard of undamaged vaccines.
PATH designed and developed the SoloShot™ syringe–the first autodisable syringe to come to market for immunization and drug delivery.
Initial funding for the PATH Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access has been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"In order to fully realize the lifesaving impact of vaccines, we need to make sure innovation is supported at every development stage through to delivery," said Trevor Mundel, President, Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "The new Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access will accelerate and improve vaccine development by drawing from the breadth of expertise across the organization. We're excited to support PATH and other partners on this proven integrated development approach."
"Recent years have dramatically underscored the need for faster and more effective vaccine development and delivery," PATH CEO Davis said. "We are doubling down on our commitment to reach every community and every child with lifesaving vaccines. We dare to envision a world where no one dies for want of a vaccine."
MenAfriVac is a registered trademark of Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd.
SoloShot is a trademark of BD.