WASHINGTON, D.C., BANGALORE, AMSTERDAM — October 14, 2015 — The Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) and Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (Sabin PDP) today announced a new research and innovation partnership with the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) of India on vaccine development for hookworm and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The European Union, through its EuropeAid program, recently awarded a five-year grant of €333,000 to AIGHD to establish this EU-India partnership.
This new initiative aims to build a network of partners who can provide low-cost vaccine manufacturing for hookworm infection and, at a later stage, other NTDs. In particular, the partnership will identify viable paths toward manufacturing a human hookworm vaccine that costs less than US$1 per dose. It will also work to advance the acceptance and introduction of these vaccines in India and other endemic countries. Other partners include FlandersBio and Q-Biologicals in Belgium, and Baylor College of Medicine in the United States.
“Building on global efforts to develop a hookworm vaccine, this partnership will allow the EU biotech industry to share expertise with Indian vaccine manufacturers, which have proven abilities in bringing safe, effective and low-cost vaccines, such as ROTAVAC, to market,” said Dr. Remko van Leeuwen, project director for the HOOKVAC Consortium at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development. “India, in particular, accounts for 35 percent of the global burden of NTDs. Given their high burden and successful vaccine manufacturing track record, we see strong potential for producing a hookworm vaccine with partners in India.”
Approximately 477 million people worldwide suffer from hookworm, making it one of the most pervasive NTDs affecting people living in extreme poverty. Left untreated, hookworm causes internal blood loss leading to iron-deficiency anemia and protein malnutrition, particularly in pregnant women and children. Chronic hookworm infection in children contributes to physical and intellectual impairment, and poor school performance.
“ABLE is proud to join the European Commission in their efforts to fight hookworm infection and other diseases of poverty,” said Dr. P.M. Murali, president of ABLE. “We hope to use this opportunity to exchange knowledge and resources and create an innovative and collaborative environment for the joint development of safe and affordable vaccines.”
“The Sabin PDP is thrilled to engage in this new initiative, which promotes greater innovation and collaboration with India,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, president of Sabin, director of the Sabin PDP and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to explore new partnerships for the Sabin PDP and build on years of research and development efforts to combat the persistent scourge of NTDs.”
About the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD)
AIGHD is an academic collaboration between the Academic Medical Centre, the University of Amsterdam, the VU University of Amsterdam, and non-governmental organizations. AIGHD links disciplines, resources, and innovative programs from academic institutions and implementing partners in both the developed and developing world, with the ultimate aim to lead the way to access to high quality health care for all inhabitants of this world. It aims to provide sustainable solutions to major health problems across our planet, by forging synergies between disciplines, health care delivery, research, and education. www.aighd.org.
About the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE)
Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises - ABLE is a not-for-profit pan-India forum that represents the Indian Biotechnology Sector. It was launched in April 2003, after industry leaders felt a need to form an exclusive forum to represent the Indian Biotechnology Sector. ABLE has over 580 members from all across India representing all verticals of the sector like agribiotech, bio-pharma, industrial biotech, bioinformatics, investment banks and Venture Capital firms, leading research and academic institutes and law firms and equipment suppliers.
The primary focus of ABLE is to accelerate the pace of growth of the Biotechnology sector in India, through partnering with the Government in their biotechnology initiatives to deliver optimal policies and create a positive regulatory environment, encouraging entrepreneurship and investment in the sector, providing a platform for domestic and overseas companies to explore collaboration and partnerships, forging stronger links between academia and industry and showcasing the strengths of the Indian biotech sector. ABLE thus catalyses a symbiotic interface between the industry, the government, academic and research institutes and domestic and international investors. www.ableindia.in
About The Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership
The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) worldwide. Sabin develops new vaccines, advocates for increased use of existing vaccines and promotes expanded access to affordable medical treatments in collaboration with governments, academic institutions, scientists, medical professionals and non-profit organizations. For more information, please visit www.sabin.org.
Sabin’s research and development of new vaccines is conducted through the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (Sabin PDP), based at the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine. The Sabin PDP works with leading private, academic and public institutions around the world to develop and test safe, effective and low-cost vaccines that benefit the world’s poorest communities. A complete overview of ongoing projects and partners is available at www.sabin.org/pdp