PATH and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been named winners of the 2012 Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for best vaccine partnership in recognition of their unique collaboration, the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), that led to the introduction of a new meningitis A vaccine.
PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative received an honorable mention in the same category for our public-private partnership with GSK Biologicals. That collaboration is supporting the development of RTS,S, a malaria vaccine candidate that could add a powerful, complementary tool for the control of malaria in Africa.
Created in 2001, MVP developed MenAfriVac™, a revolutionary vaccine that protects people against deadly meningitis A and could end a century of meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. Since its introduction in 2010, more than 54 million Africans across six countries have received the vaccine. Not a single case of group A meningococcal meningitis has been reported among those vaccinated.
MVP, a partnership between PATH and WHO, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and involves dozens of partner organizations working together across four continents. It marks the first time a philanthropic foundation has joined with public- and private-sector organizations as well as nongovernmental organizations to create a vaccine that would not otherwise have been developed by the private sector.
The Malaria Vaccine Initiative was established at PATH in 1999 with the mission to accelerate the development of malaria vaccines and ensure their availability and accessibility in the developing world. The collaboration with GSK Biologicals began in 2001. First results from a phase 3 trial of the vaccine candidate RTS,S showed that in the year following vaccination, RTS,S cut the number of malaria episodes by about half in the young children who received it.
The Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards are organized by Terrapinn and sponsored by Novartis Vaccines to recognize outstanding achievements by organizations and individuals in the vaccine industry. Nominees are judged on their strategic potential to the industry and potential to address unmet needs, among other criteria. The awards were presented at the 12th World Vaccine Congress in Washington, DC, on April 11.