New Methods Of Vaccine Delivery

The humankind has been riddled with maladies. Several medicines and vaccines came in the wake of advances in medicinal technology. Many vaccinums are administered through injections. Syringes, needles and qualified medical personnel are required for giving injections. Research works point that injections cause both pain and stress. For averting pain and stress, researches are undertaken to develop new vaccine delivery methods. Read on to know.

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Inhaled vaccines

Inhaled vaccines are among the first steps to minimize the use of needles. For example, influenza can be controlled through an inhaled vaccine called Flu Mist. Measles is another disease for which the inhaled vaccinum are tested. Similar to the inhaled vaccinum, another type is developed that can be delivered through lungs.

Needle-free patch

This technique heralded the concept of micro needle. In needle-free patch, an array of disc-shaped micro needle is put to use. A micro needle is made of sugar, and it dissolves within five minutes of penetration in the skin. Additionally, the needle-free patch technique maintains stability and efficacy of a live vaccine even in room temperature. The technique is the best alternative to the painful hypodermic needles.

Oral vaccines

Maladies such as cholera and polio are cured using oral vaccines. Research works are afoot for deriving oral vaccinum to protect against tuberculosis. As per several biological studies, orally developed vaccinums produce higher immune response than any of their injected DNA counterparts.

Advent of Transcutaneous Immunization

Researchers, vaccinum developers and biologists have undertaken several studies to understand the skin immune system. Such studies have led to the growth of Trans cutaneous Immunization (TCI). The TCI acts as an alternative route to offer higher immunization.

Breakthrough took place in the realm of vaccinum with the development of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine: it is meant for protecting young children and infants against pneumonia causing bacteria. Several vaccinum developers are cashing in on technological advancements to make the world a better place to live in.

 

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Rotavirus And Its Vaccine

Among the most common causes for a child’s death all around the globe has been diarrhea caused by rotavirus.  Prior to the advent of a rotavirus vaccine, the virus had resulted in 400,000 visits to the doctor and close to 500,000 deaths of children (below five years of age) per year; most of these children belonged to developing countries. The virus targets infants of a particular age group (3 months – 2 years). Infants who live in day care and are not breastfed adequately become predisposed to the condition.

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Causative agents and symptoms of the virus

Being a double-stranded RNA virus that belongs to reovirus family, rotavirus can only be studied under an electron microscope. Furthermore, the virus has a wheel shape, due to which it is known as rota – the Latin for wheel. Different species as well as subtypes of Rotavirus have been formed, which are known for affecting the digestive system of humans.

Some common symptoms of rotavirus are:-

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Transmission

The rotavirus is transmitted when the waste of an infected person enters the mouth of an individual – fecal-oral route. Such instances easily occur through objects (toys) and contamination of hands. Owing to such reasons the virus spreads quickly among children. In some cases, the virus is transmitted to people coming in close contact with the infected child.

The virus is resilient and fatal as even the standard hygiene measures such as washing hands or drinking clean water will not be able to control it.

Vaccination

The rotavirus children can be cured with the help of a vaccine (administered on babies in two doses). With the advent of a vaccine for rotavirus, the cases of infection have fallen dramatically. In the development of rotavirus vaccine India vaccine laboratories have played a crucial role.

 

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How Smallpox Faced A Complete Eradication?

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Whenever a particular illness stops its circulation in a particular region, it is considered eliminated from that area. However, if the disease is eliminated from the entire face of the earth, then the phenomenon is called disease eradication.  To ensure both eradication and elimination of the disease, vaccine development is given the highest priority; the next slot in the vaccine researchers’ to-do list is secured by clean and quick vaccine delivery.

The first-ever disease eradication

Thus far, only one disease, smallpox, has been eradicated in 1980. The decades of initiatives taken by the World Health Organization (WHO) led World Health Assembly to declare smallpox disease as eradicated. Prior to its eradication, the long-in-the-tooth disease had claimed 35% lives of the infected people and left many hapless blind or scarred.

The eradication of smallpox was possible by coordinated efforts put in by the WHO and other health organizations. A well-structured surveillance was the key to eradicate smallpox from its root that had spread all over the world. As soon as a new case of smallpox was registered, the health officials were required to identify other such fresh cases in the same region and administer Ring Vaccination.  The final case of smallpox was reported in Somalia (1977).

Why smallpox was simpler to eradicate?

  • Also referred to as variola, smallpox had an obtrusive presence as its patients quickly developed a peculiar form of rashes.
  • Second, the time taken for the symptoms to appear was shorter than other diseases
  • Third, such short duration had helped in quickly administering the vaccination and containing the disease
  • Final nail in the coffin was when the WHO took consistent efforts to introduce immunization chart for variola and train the vaccinators. This step was taken to protect those who were not having lifelong immunity to the disease.

With the complete eradication of variola, many hopes were raised to eliminate other maladies such as malaria, polio, dracunculiasis, to mention but a few.

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An Introductory Guide To The Vaccine Of Pneumococcal

The most common cause of blood infection, pneumonia, meningitis and ear infection has been a Streptococcus pneumonia bacterium. All of these diseases come under the category of pneumococcal disease. The disease is common during early spring as well as winter and spreads from person-to-person. Some cases of pneumococcal infection have culminated to extensive brain damage. Few invasive pneumococcal infections can also take the life of infants.

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Who should be given a pneumococcal vaccine?

Primarily, the pneumococcal vaccine is administered on three types of individuals –

  • Infants (under the age of 2)
  • Old people (above the age of 65)
  • Young adults and children having serious kidney or heart condition derived from pneumococcal disease itself

How often PCV13 is given?

  • The infants receive three separate injections – one at two months, followed by another at four months and the last one when during 12-13 months after the birth.
  • Senior adults – over the age of 65 years – require a single vaccination, protecting them for life.
  • The adults and young children require one pneumococcal vaccination or a five-yearly vaccination, depending on the criticality of the health problem.

Variants of pneumonia vaccine

There are two kinds of pneumococcal vaccine:-

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV, Prevnar 13 or PCV13) – The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is administered on infants under the age of two. In some countries, the vaccine has become an integral part of the childhood vaccination program.  The development of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine India has risen to a new high with several leading vaccine laboratories contributing in its production.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) – This is another vaccine, which is administered on people of age 65 and above. Also, the vaccine is given to those people having a continuing health condition.

Close to 90 types of pneumococcal bacterium have been identified; although, eight to ten of them cause fatal infection. The PCV13 gives protection against 13 strains; similarly, PPV gives protection against nearly 23 strains. With the progresses in medicine, the vaccine development laboratories will soon come up with holistic cures for some of the ills such as pneumonia.

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Why a Vaccine for HIV Remains a Pipe Dream?

In 1990, the growth of many infectious diseases was checked. However, during the same time, a virus, still unchecked, had wiped out millions. Researchers were always left speechless when the question of a vaccine to this deadly virus popped up. The virus was known as HIV. Detected in 1984, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) had nearly taken 30 million lives. The major concern for many researches is that HIV, as per now, cannot be prevented since no vaccine has been developed for it. The virus destroys the entire immune system by lowering the levels of CD4+ cells – the main constituent of a human body’s immune system. The reasons, which have stunted the growth prospects of an HIV’s vaccine are many; read on to know.

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Reasons as to why there is still no vaccine for an HIV virus

In April 1984, researches declared that they would soon roll out a vaccine to the HIV virus within a span of just two years. The reasons to such heightened levels of optimism are still unknown. The factors held responsible for no development of an HIV vaccine are listed below.

Till date, there has been no recovery made from HIV virus. Unlike other infections such as chickenpox and measles – where a diseased person naturally made recovery with the help of medicines – in HIV no care or medicine can help in reversing the immunity’s deterioration. Moreover, whenever a person gets successfully recovered from a disease (say measles, chickenpox, etc.), the system gets immune to the ailment; such system becomes the model to develop a vaccine. However, no such human immune system is found that has withstood the attack of an HIV virus.

One name that is consistently striving to bring the best of vaccines to the world is Hilleman Laboratories. The company was established in Delhi and has adopted high-class vaccine development strategies for contributing to healthcare research India. The presence of state-of-the-art vaccines laboratories in the company’s premises has helped it grow by leaps and bounds. The company is a joint venture between merck & wellcome trust for creating sustainable vaccine development. Any other details can be found at – www.hillemanlabs.org.

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The Science Of Vaccination- An Insight From Hilleman Labs

Get to know the approach and vaccine research that Hilleman Labs, employs to provide better health care facilities to developing countries.

There is big gap between the healthcare facilities provided by the developing nations and developed nations. Vaccination programs help developing countries, defend deadliest of diseases. Hilleman Labs, a partner of Merck & Co. and Wellcome Trust, have channelized their vaccine research to help people fight and overcome fatal diseases in developing countries. Vaccine manufacturing needs research, ultra-modern techniques, and artisan. The artisans at Hilleman Labs focus on:

·         Diseases of importance to developing countries
·         Transformational technology for vaccine development and administration

The vaccines like rotavirus vaccines, human papilloma virus vaccines, TB vaccines, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, and Hepatitis A vaccines are developed for diseases responsible for highest mortality and morbidity rates in developing countries. The vaccines are developed and delivered based on disease targets and antigens, which are calculated on epidemiologic data and disease burden. The heat stability, usability, and affordability of the vaccine are improved either by using existing technology or inventing a new one.

The vaccine research model of Hilleman Labs encapsulates the following:

·         Due-Diligence
·         Identify Vaccine Antigen
·         Identify Vaccine Technology
·         Optimization
·         Preclinical Development
·         Clinical Phase I / II
·         Technology Transfer for Manufacturing

The Project selection process:

·         Public health interest (Possible reasons why this vaccine is needed)
·         Technical probability (What is the probability of vaccine’s success)
·         Financial feasibility (Cost and investment involved in vaccine manufacture and licensing)
·         Keeping in mid National Regulatory Authority (NRA) and WHO Guidelines
·         Consulting stakeholders and peer groups

“It is estimated that globally 0.6 million children under the age of 5 die annually due to rotavirus diarrhea and another 2 million are hospitalized. 90% of these deaths occur in developing countries.” –Courtesy: Hilleman Labs.

Public health systems that can ensure fairness in global health scenario will be a reality only through easy and affordable access to life-saving immunization programs. Well equipped with transformational vaccine research technologies, we will deliver new age preventive healthcare to the developing world in the near future.

Our expertise in vaccine research is channelized towards helping people in the developing world to fight the deadliest of diseases with vaccines that are within their reach. A first-of-its-kind initiative, Hilleman Laboratories is an equal joint-venture partnership formed between Merck & Co., a global research-driven pharmaceutical company and Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to human and animal health. Headquartered in India, Hilleman Laboratories is an international organization strengthened by the presence of global leadership and scientific team, which is working incessantly to develop safe, effective, affordable and sustainable vaccines for developing countries

Thermo stable Rotavirus vaccine is one of the current projects that Hilleman Labs, has been working on. The research on rotavirus vaccine, examine formulations to improve stability, usability, portability and affordability of thin strips or granules.  Making vaccination a medium to combat deadly diseases helps save lives.

Hilleman Laboratories is a vaccine manufacture  and committed to developing high impact, TB vaccinesHepatitis A vaccines, affordable vaccines for people in developing countries in an innovative and sustainable manner.

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Examine the rise and fall of immunization cost in developing countries and its usefulness

For the developing countries, vaccines have made feasible some of the greatest public health successes in the last decade. The supply of high-impact Immunization helps avert an estimated 2.5 million child deaths each year. Vaccines manufacturing laboratories are striving to spread awareness about the up and coming technologies & processes executed in the field of vaccine development. The process of vaccine development involves high investment costs and the facilities require the optimum use of resources. Apart from the cost, there is no dearth of speculations involved when it comes to acquiring high quality and effective vaccinations for the general public. It also requires adequate research and development, quality control and quality assurance in the field of vaccination. However, the investment cost has been an important aspect to maintain world-class infrastructure for vaccine. As resources and facilities for vaccines manufacturing are available in abundance, on the other hand laboratories have to face a number of problems to initiate a research and development in developing countries. In addition, the world’s vaccine market is very small—below 2 percent of the pharmaceutical market—attracting few suppliers.

It has been examined that the prices of traditional vaccines have decreased significantly. The immunization cost of traditional six vaccines of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), measles, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, oral polio and BCG has shown a radical decrease in cost. Because the fixed costs of development of these vaccines have been covered long ago, and because their production costs have been lowered due to the learning curve and economies of scale, their prices are relatively low.  In the past years, there has been excess production capacity of these vaccines as new producers have entered the market, thus sales at low prices covered the variable costs of producing extra doses of vaccine, and did not require additional capacity.

Hilleman Laboratories is intended to participate actively to develop and optimize vaccines for developing countries to ensure healthy tomorrow while keeping its investment costs in control. The lab understands the constant need of vaccines by developing countries and for this reason puts more emphasis on the supply of high impact immunization for kids and even promotes awareness campaigns in rural areas about how to keep track on immunization schedule for kids. The lab develops high-impact, thermal stable and cost-effective pneumococcal vaccine and conjugate vaccine for developing countries. Hilleman Laboratories was set up in 2009, the first time a research charity joined hands with a drug maker to develop affordable vaccines to prevent diseases that commonly affect people in low-income countries. The firm has successfully promoted and supplied a heat stable, affordable and easy-to-use rotavirus vaccines used to prevent diarrhoea in children.

Corporate Office and R&D Laboratory

MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.
2nd Floor, Nanotechnology Building, Jamia Hamdard

Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi – 110062 (India)

Ph: +91 11 30997700
Fax: +91 11 30997711

Website: www.hillemanlabs.org

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