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MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories announces first project
Date:1/25/2011

(New Delhi, 25 January 2011) -- The MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories announced today that the organization's first project will be a feasibility study into how new technologies might be used to develop a rotavirus vaccine designed specifically with developing country needs in mind. Formulations based on dissolving thin strips or granules will be examined for their potential to improve product stability, ease of use, transportation and affordability. The therapeutic focus of the project has been selected because of the tremendous global impact of rotavirus diarrhea on childhood mortality. If the initial study is successful, options to further develop the technology for rotavirus and other oral vaccines of importance to developing country health will be explored.

"Many first-generation vaccines have not been developed with the specific needs of countries with poor infrastructure for vaccine delivery in mind. This is a much needed exploration of how to tackle one of the greatest public health and logistics challenges in the developing world -- distributing life-saving vaccines without the requirement for large bulk shipments, expensive warehousing and costly, difficult-to-maintain refrigerated shipping paths from the manufacturing plant to the patient," says Hilleman Laboratories Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Altaf A. Lal.

The project is a collaboration among the Hilleman Laboratories, MSD and Medicine in Need (MEND), an international non-profit organization specializing in the application of advanced vaccine formulation technologies. For this feasibility study, MEND is providing the formulation technology and MSD is providing components of its existing rotavirus vaccine.

"With developing country needs in mind, we are targeting heat stability, ease of administration, package size, and cost of goods as key features of the product," said Dr. Akshay Goel, Chief Scientific Officer at Hilleman Laboratories.

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Contact: Samantha Cranko
samanthac@rabinpartners.com
917-453-0346
MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories
Source:Eurekalert

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