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Glaxo and Sanofi work against new polio crisis

new polio

Responding to the re-emergence of Polio as a public health emergency, vaccinemakers GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi (SNY) are preparing to fight the menace. These pharma giants are manufacturers of the two most popular and effective polio vaccines, PediarixTM and IPOL, respectively.
Glaxo is committed to WHO’s target of eradicating polio by 2018. A spokesperson stated recently; “We are systematically stockpiling OPV to meet this demand which is expected to require around 1.5 billion doses. The oral polio vaccine, or OPV, contains a mixture of live, weakened poliovirus strains of all three polio-virus types and is most often used in immunization campaigns during outbreaks.
According to reports; GSK provided 412 million doses to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, in 2013. A public-private partnership led by national governments and the WHO. In countries where polio has been eradicated, Glaxo will phase out OPV and replace that jab with the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to prevent the very low risk of polio reemerging from the live vaccine itself. Glaxo also stated that; It is working on developing lower cost combination vaccines for the developing world.
As the world’s largest producer of IPV, Sanofi Pasteur has supplied 800 million doses of the vaccine since developing the first enhanced-potency IPV in 1982. A statement from Sanofi says; “We are confident that we will be able to produce most of the global requirement for IPV. Also a major producer of oral polio vaccines, Sanofi has supplied more than 5 billion doses of OPV to UNICEF over the past two decades.
In response to the WHO announcement, the Pakistani government will set up mandatory immunization checkpoints at airports and border crossings in a renewed effort to eliminate the threat of Polio spread. The Central African country Equatorial Guinea has also launched the first phase of a campaign to immunize children against the disease

May 12, 2014

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