February 25, 2017
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a $17.6 million grant to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University College London and University of Kansas for the development of a global vaccine manufacturing platform that can produce certain vaccines for less than 15 cents per dose, according to a recent press release.
The platform is being developed through the “Ultra-low cost, Transferable Automated (ULTRA) Platform for Vaccine Manufacture Project,” which will focus on manufacturing recombinant protein vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis B, HIV, HPV, malaria and rotavirus. Researchers hope to standardize existing manufacturing techniques, which are currently unique to each vaccine. The platform is based on models combining engineered microbial cell factories and flexible purification strategies that some biopharmaceuticals use for antibody-based therapies.