AsianScientist (May 12, 2016) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has announced a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support global polio eradication in developing countries. With this funding, Takeda will develop, license and supply at least 50 million doses per year of the Sabin-strain inactivated poliovirus vaccine to more than 70 developing countries.
Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. Mainly affecting children under five, it invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis in a matter of hours.
There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines; thus, polio eradication is therefore based on immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free.
“This represents a major commitment by a Japanese company to the health of children in developing countries around the world,” said Christophe Weber, president and CEO of Takeda.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Gates Foundation will provide a US$38 million grant to Takeda to develop and license a safe and effective Sabin-strain inactivated polio vaccine.
Takeda will make at least 50 million doses per year available at an affordable price for developing countries receiving support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
“In 2016, the world is closer than ever to eradicating polio. To eradicate polio, we need to ensure every last child is protected from the disease—this partnership will help to ensure that the world has enough vaccine to get the job done and maintain a polio-free world,” said president of global development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chris Elias.
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