Future directions for vaccine discovery 1

Published on May 28, 2015   30 min

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This is Chris Wilson. I'm the Director of Discovery & Translational Sciences at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, United States. And what I'd like to speak with you today about is some future directions for vaccine discovery and how innovation in vaccine discovery can have a positive impact on global health inequities. As most of you may know, vaccines are one of the most impactful and cost-effective public health measures of the 20th century. However, there remain great unmet needs to develop vaccines for globally burdensome infectious diseases and to allow more timely responses to emerging infectious disease threats.
As shown in the cartoon along the top of this slide, the path by which new vaccines are discovered and developed is challenging and often long and costly. In fact, the shortest time taken from identification of the microbe, which would be at the far left of the chevron shown along the top, to the launch of a vaccine has been nine years. And that was the measles vaccine, which stood on the shoulders, that is to say, built off of a precedent established by the Sabin polio vaccine, thus making it an easier process than for most vaccines. As you can also see, there is at least one major infectious disease for which we've identified the pathogen more than 115 years ago and still do not have a vaccine and that is malaria. Thus historically, the range of time required to go from identification of a pathogen to an effective vaccine is fundamentally too long. Even once one has advanced a potential product through exploratory and is ready to take it into development, 8 to 10 years is currently required for a typical vaccine.