European Commission Launches Prize Fund to Encourage Vaccine Temperature Stability

Posted 18 April 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

The European Commission (EC) has launched a €2 million prize in the hopes that the incentive will drive inventors to develop vaccines that can be shipped and stored regardless of the temperature in which they are held.

The prize, announced by EC's Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, should be of particular benefit to those patients in developing countries where cold-chain logistics networks are not established or unreliable.

"Many people in tropical and developing countries cannot benefit from life-saving vaccines as these vaccines are damaged before they can reach them," remarked Geoghegan-Quinn. "The goal of this prize is to galvanize scientists into producing innovations which can solve this global health problem."

"The delivery of vaccines from manufacturer to recipient can take up to 18 months and for most vaccines, the doses must be kept at a constant and cool temperature, above freezing," explained the EC in a statement. "This requires an unbroken cold-chain which is logistically complicated and expensive."

"The World Health Organisation estimates that half of all supplied vaccine doses are wasted," added said the EC, most of which is caused by inadequate cold-chain storage.

Read more:

European Commission - European Commission offers €2 million prize for a leap forward in vaccine technology

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