Bharat Biotech scores big with WHO-approved typhoid vaccine:
Bharat Biotech Ltd (BBL), a Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer, on Wednesday, said the World Health Organisation (WHO). It has thereby pre-qualified its typhoid conjugate vaccine, Typbar TVC, which thus opens the path for sale of the vaccine to UN agencies such as Unicef and Gavi.
This thereby enables the procurement and also supplies of this vaccine to UNICEF, Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO). GAVI-supported countries, the Hyderabad-based company said in a statement.
Human Challenge Studies at Oxford University evaluated Typbar TCV. Typhoid conjugate vaccines have thus been recommended by WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (WHO-SAGE), it said.
It is the world first typhoid vaccine clinically proven for use on recipients who can be as young as six months. A single dose thus offers 87% protective efficacy against typhoid. It sickened 12 million people and killed 130,000 worldwide in 2016. Though the vaccine is approved for use in India, it is not yet a part of India Universal Immunisation Programme. Its retail price in India is therefore as high as Rs 1,500.
Salmonella Typhi (S. Typhi) bacteria causes typhoid by contaminating food and water; the cost of treating it ranges from $50 to $ 5,000 for outpatient and inpatient treatments in developing nations.
“With the recent Gavi Board approval of a US$ 85 million funding window to make the typhoid conjugate vaccine available in Gavi-supported countries. We now expect the first introductions to take place as soon as the first half of 2019,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. One of the main barriers to controlling typhoid has been the availability of a vaccine that is effective in young children.
So this vaccine will be a game-changer for millions of the most vulnerable. This vaccine will not only save lives but consider the growing spread of drug-resistant strains of typhoid. It will also prove to be a valuable weapon against antimicrobial resistance.
Currently, a third of the global population is at risk of typhoid fever, which results in reduced school attendance, loss of work and wages, lowered pregnancy outcomes and impaired the physical and cognitive development of children.
To provide global access to Typhoid Conjugate Vaccines, to save lives of populations in low-income countries, Bharat Biotech is collaborating with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Bharat Biotech is able to supply up to 50 million doses/year. It is actively working on expanding its manufacturing capacity to reach ~ 200 million doses.
This will truly fulfill its mission to develop novel vaccines, manufacture and supply high volumes of high-quality vaccines at affordable prices for low-income countries and low-middle income countries.