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Vaccine Delivery – An Emerging Opportunity

Sukhjeet Singh, Chief Scientific Officer, Panacea Biotec

Day 2 of FDD Conclave 2018, began with a very insightful session titled, ‘Vaccine Delivery – An Emerging Opportunity’. Dr Sukhjeet Singh, Chief Scientific Officer, Panacea Biotec, the speaker for this session and an industry veteran, highlighted the challenges, opportunities and market potential in the vaccine delivery sector.

Giving a brief scenario of the global market for vaccines, Dr Singh informed, “At present, the worldwide vaccine market is at $6.50 billion and Indian market is at $900 million. The global human vaccines market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 11.69 per cent during the period 2016-2020.

India accounts for less than two per cent of the global market for vaccines. In India, the per capita spending on vaccines is extremely low, at $0.01, compared to $0.5 in China and $34.4 in the US.”

However, through his presentation, it was also understood that in the recent decades, the number of private owned firms in India, active in the sector has grown rapidly. Their success in bringing low cost vaccine solutions to the public vaccine markets is an important driver behind the emergence of the sector.

Currently, diseases and viruses against which vaccines are being developed include, amongst others – rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, typhoid and malaria. Many more projects are at early stages, including efforts to combat dengue, Zika and chikungunya, informed Dr Singh.

Further, he expounded on novel vaccine delivery systems (NVDS); Panacea’s innovative product EasySix, which is world’s first whole-cell (wP) –based, fully liquid Hexavalent vaccine.

While elaborating on different technologies used as a carrier in developing novel vaccines, Dr Singh also spoke on the advantages on thermostable vaccines. He said, “It reduces wastage of vaccines occurred due to lack of cold chain and decreases the cost of vaccine stockpiling. The product ensures vaccine stability in remote areas of the world with limited or no access to electricity for cold chain. Thermostable vaccines represent a better opportunity to increase the outreach of global immunisation programme.”

Concluding his session, Dr Singh said that the future in vaccines involve developing and promoting cost effective options for vaccine manufacturing in developing countries. It also involves enhancing country’s capacity to use vaccines effectively. It is important to search for newer, safe and effective vaccines for diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and dengue as well.

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