Serum Institute of India Partners with Oxford University to Combat Meningitis-B

The Serum Institute of India and the University of Oxford have partnered to develop an affordable Meningitis-B vaccine, aiming to improve global health and accessibility, especially for vulnerable populations.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Serum Institute of India Partners with Oxford University to Combat Meningitis-B

Serum Institute of India Partners with Oxford University to Combat Meningitis-B

The Serum Institute of India (SII) and the University of Oxford have entered into a five-year licensing agreement to develop and distribute a novel vaccine specifically designed to combat Meningitis-B, a potentially life-threatening infection affecting the brain and spinal cord. The partnership, negotiated by Oxford University Innovation, aims to improve global health and provide affordable, lifesaving protection against Meningitis, especially for the most vulnerable populations.

SII, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, will leverage Oxford's expertise and technology to produce a chimeric protein-based vaccine. This collaboration represents a significant stride towards addressing the challenge of meningococcal-B disease, a serious and potentially fatal infection. The vaccine is expected to deliver lifesaving protection against Meningitis-B, advancing global accessibility to critical preventive measures.

Why this matters: Meningitis-B is a rare but severe disease that can lead to devastating consequences, particularly in resource-poor settings. The partnership between SII and the University of Oxford has the potential to significantly improve the availability and affordability of Meningitis-B vaccines, ensuring that more individuals, especially those in vulnerable communities, have access to this lifesaving protection.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has pre-qualified SII's MenFive vaccine, solidifying the company's position as a key player in the healthcare sector. The deal is seen as a hallmark of Oxford's dedication to vaccine innovation and the crucial role of academic licensing and commercial partnerships in addressing global health issues.

SII has also collaborated with Univercells, a Belgian biotech innovator, to increase accessibility to personalized cancer care globally. Additionally, SII has joined forces with Bharat Biotech to strengthen the production and supply security of Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV). SII's founder and chairman, Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, has been recognized with several awards, including the Late Dr. Mohan Dharia Nation Building Award and a lifetime achievement award from Savitribai Phule Pune University.

The University of Oxford researchers have established a controlled human infection model for tuberculosis (TB) that infects people via the lungs. Furthermore, a comprehensive study published in Lancet Global Health challenges conventional wisdom regarding the impact of household air pollution on fetal growth. The university has also secured the top position in the QS World University Rankings for Anatomy and Physiology for the seventh time in the last eight years.

The Serum Institute of India's partnership with the University of Oxford to develop a Meningitis-B vaccine marks a significant milestone in the fight against this serious disease. By combining SII's manufacturing capabilities with Oxford's innovative research, this collaboration aims to make the vaccine widely accessible and affordable, particularly in regions where meningitis poses a significant public health burden. The deal highlights the importance of global partnerships in tackling critical health challenges and improving the lives of individuals worldwide.

Key Takeaways

  • SII and Oxford University partner to develop Meningitis-B vaccine for global access.
  • SII to leverage Oxford's expertise to produce a chimeric protein-based Meningitis-B vaccine.
  • WHO pre-qualified SII's MenFive vaccine, solidifying its position in the healthcare sector.
  • SII collaborates with Univercells and Bharat Biotech to increase accessibility to cancer care and OPV.
  • Oxford researchers advance TB infection model and challenge household air pollution impact on fetal growth.