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Douglas Lowy and John Schiller

The 2011 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal recipients are Drs. Douglas R. Lowy and John T. Schiller.

Drs. Lowy and Schiller will be honored on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at The George Washington University City View Room in downtown Washington, DC for their groundbreaking research which led to the development of the first vaccine whose main goal was to prevent cancer.

Learn more about this year's ceremony and reception. 
Alyssa Milano, Tonic.com, and the Global Network Unite Against Lymphatic Filariasis
 

Actress and Global Network Ambassador Alyssa Milano and Tonic.com--an online platform to educate and engage consumers around positive actions--launched a social-media campaign on April 19, 2011 to raise $75,000 to keep a lymphatic filariasis (LF) program alive in the Indian state of Orissa.   

 

LF, also known as elephantiasis, affects 120 million people worldwide. It is prevalent in many tropical climates and is transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito - causing painful and debilitating swelling of the limbs.  

 

IMA World Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  have partnered with the Indian NGO CASA on an LF program in Orissa to care for 23,000 LF patients and work to identify new cases of the disease. The program needs $75,000 to continue.  

 

The Global Network, Alyssa Milano, and Tonic.com are determined to End the Neglect and raise those funds now.

Cooperation Framework Agreement between Sabin Vaccine Institute, Instituto Butantan and Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
 

The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) recently signed a three-way Collaboration Framework Agreement with Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ) and Instituto Butantan to expand their existing collaborative partnership in the areas of joint translational research, development and technology transfer of new technologies for the control of neglected tropical diseases ("NTDs"), including those for hookworm and schistosomiasis.  

 

FIOCRUZ and Sabin signatures were placed at the opening of a meeting of organizational officials held in Rio de Janeiro on March 16, 2011.  Representatives from Instituto Butantan, while not present during this meeting, had previously accepted the document.  The partially executed Collaboration Framework Agreement is on its way to Instituto Butantan for final signature. 

 

In addition to the collaborative commitment for technology transfer, manufacture, and clinical testing of hookworm and schistosomiasis vaccines in Brazil, this agreement will allow Sabin to work with its Brazilian partners to plan for global supply and access.

Global Network Supports Launch of Fundacion Mundo Sano's National Institute for Tropical Medicine

The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases' Managing Director, Dr. Neeraj Mistry, traveled to Argentina in March with Senior Program Officer Karen Palacio to help long-time partner Fundación Mundo Sano inaugurate a new National Institute for Tropical Medicine (Inmet).

 

The inauguration of Inmet represents a key step towards controlling and eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Argentina's impoverished northern areas.  

 

The partnership between Fundación Mundo Sano and the Global Network has been ongoing for more than a year with efforts concentrated in Oran, Salta Province, Argentina where interventions are carried out to fight Strongyloides stercoralis (threadworm) a human parasitic roundworm. Surveys have shown that Strongyloides affects 30% of preschool-age children in the region, among the highest prevalence rates in the world. 

Sabin in the News

Dr. Peter Hotez calls on India to take the global lead in eliminating South Asia's diseases of poverty in an op-ed for The Hindu.

 

Drs. Ciro de Quadros and Jon Andrus write that this is "No time to stop the fight against polio" for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  

 

Argentine newspapers Terra and La Nacion quote Dr. Neeraj Mistry discussing the importance of  Fundación Mundo Sano's National Institute for Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Hotez is interviewed by BioCentury This Week to discuss "Vaccines for the Poor: Making the Case When Money is Scarce."
Recent Scientific Articles

Since the last issue of The Sabin Report, Sabin President Dr. Peter Hotez has co-authored five publications.

"America's Most Distressed Areas and Their Neglected Infections: The United States Gulf Coast and the District of Columbia" was published by the Public Library of Science Neglected Tropical Diseases in March.


In January, Immunological Reviews published "
Vaccines to combat the neglected tropical diseases" co-authored by Drs. Hotez, Jeffrey Bethony, Alex Loukas, et al.

"
Soil-transmitted helminths of humans in Southeast Asia--towards integrated control" was published in Advances in Parasitology; "Selection and quantification of infection endpoints for trials of vaccines against intestinal helminths" in Vaccine; and "Ac-AP-12, a novel factor Xa anticoagulant peptide from the esophageal glands of adult Ancylostoma caninum" in

Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 


Sabin Executive Vice President Dr. Ciro de Quadros co-authored,  "The Role of Research in Viral Disease Eradication and Elimination Programs: Lessons for Malaria Eradication," published in the January 2011 edition of Public Library of Science Medicine.

 

April 2011
The Sabin Report | Volume 13 Issue 1
Sabin Vaccine Institute Holds First-Ever Colloquium on Sustainable Immunization Financing

Sabin Colloquium on Sustainable Immunization FinancingFrom March 28-29, 2011, the Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF) Program, of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, hosted a colloquium that brought together more than 100 ministry of health and finance officials, parliamentarians and health financing experts to share best practices for achieving sustainable immunization financing in SIF's 15 pilot countries (Cambodia, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Uganda). Parliamentarians from Bolivia and El Salvador also participated.

 

The first "Sabin Vaccine Institute Colloquium on Sustainable Immunization Financing (SIF)" opened with remarks from Sabin Executive Vice President Dr. Ciro de Quadros and featured presentations from representatives of the World Health Organization, GAVI Alliance, Pan American Health Organization, and World Bank.  Delegates offered first-hand accounts of the immunization financing landscape in their respective countries and what they are doing to achieve the sustainability goal.

 

While vaccines represent an incredible tool for reducing mortality and morbidity rates, as well as improving education and economic indicators, the cost of fully immunizing a child with available vaccines is around US$30. Lower income countries finance less than 40% of their routine immunization programs. The rest of their need is met with external funding, which often is not guaranteed.

Sabin's SIF Program assists countries with finding ways to reduce external partner dependence by identifying new revenue sources and making immunization programs more efficient. Increasing national immunization budgets will ensure that access to life-saving vaccines is not interrupted.

 

Click here for more information on the colloquium.

Sabin Vaccine Institute, Global Network Sign Partnership Agreements with Eisai Corp., Ltd.

Eisai Corp., Ltd.The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) and its major initiative the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases signed agreements with Eisai Co., Ltd (Eisai) to expand ongoing efforts to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Eisai and the Global Network will collaborate on a
diethylcarbamazine (DEC) donation to the World Health Organization. The Global Network is assisting Eisai in planning, reporting, and implementation activities around the DEC donation and providing technical advice for future decision-making on NTD initiatives.

Sabin and Eisai will collaborate on research and development for NTD vaccines that will help deepen the pharmaceutical industry's role in global health initiatives for NTD control and elimination. In addition, Sabin Vaccine Development--a product development partnership of the Sabin Vaccine Institute--intends to test Eisai's vaccine adjuvant technology in preclinical studies with antigens that are currently in development. Eisai's adjuvant technology may serve as a valuable tool for enhancing immunogenicity of Sabin's vaccine antigens for human hookworm infection and schistosomiasis.

Read the press release announcing the Sabin-Eisai announcement. Click here for more information on the Eisai-Global Network agreement. 

GMP Manufacture of Sm-TSP-2 schistosomiasis vaccine to begin in April 2011

Lab workSabin Vaccine Development is eagerly anticipating the production of the Sm-TSP-2 schistosomiasis vaccine at Instituto Butantan in April 2011.  The preliminary manufacturing activities include the release of the cell banks and acquisition of raw materials for the pending manufacturing campaign.  The manufacturing process will include fermentation, purification, filling/finish, and quality control activities.  Planning is also underway for a toxicology study, regulatory filings in the second half of 2011, and clinical testing in 2012.   

 

Sabin Vaccine Development has worked in close collaboration with its partnering organizations at Instituto Butantan, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz and The George Washington University to plan the technology transfer, regulatory strategy, and clinical development for the Sm-TSP-2 schistosomiasis vaccine.  In November 2010, Sabin Vaccine Development representatives traveled to Brasília, Brazil to meet with representatives from Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA),  Brazil's national regulatory body. The meeting's purpose was to discuss with ANVISA the plans for technology transfer, cGMP manufacture, safety testing and clinical development of the Sm-TSP-2 scistomsomiasis vaccine.  The regulatory interaction with ANVISA provided valuable input and direction about the Sm-TSP-2 product and clinical development plans and their feedback will be incorporated into program and regulatory plans going forward.   

 

Sabin Executive Vice President Dr. Ciro de Quadros and Bill Gates Discuss "Polio and the Power of Vaccines"

Ciro de Quadros and Bill GatesOn January 31, 2011, Sabin Executive Vice President Dr. Ciro de Quadros joined Bill Gates and others at the historic Roosevelt House in New York City for the release of Mr. Gates' annual letter.  The location of the event was especially fitting since the house where President Roosevelt recovered from polio is now the site of a renewed global call to eradicate the disease.   

In front of an audience of 100 high level policymakers, civil society leaders, journalists and other advocates, Mr. Gates shared the rationale behind his foundation's commitment to vaccines and polio eradication.  Dr. de Quadros talked about his experience at PAHO and its successful campaigns against polio as well as the renewed worldwide effort of polio eradication.  Other speakers addressed the history of the polio campaign, personal experience in the remaining affected areas and other topics that demonstrate the enormous value of vaccines.

While much press has appeared in recent months regarding the feasibility of eradication, Dr. de Quadros stressed at this event, and in subsequent interviews, that recent steps such as increased funding and the establishment of an Independent Review Board put polio eradication firmly within the reach of today's global health professionals.

Watch archived video of the event.
Read Bill Gates' annual letter. 

Global Network Issues a Call to Action to Address Deworming Needs in Latin America and the Caribbean

Addressing Soil Transmitted Helminths in Latin America and the CaribbeanOn April 4, 2011, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases released a report, "A Call to Action: Addressing Soil-transmitted Helminths in Latin America and the Caribbean," that outlines key recommendations for governments and key stakeholders to address the control and treatment of intestinal parasites in the Latin America and Caribbean region.  

 

The recommendations cited in the report, developed in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization and the Inter-American Development Bank, are divided into four key areas:

  1. Developing national deworming policies and plans of action;
  2. Bundling mass treatment against worms with other health care delivery systems;
  3. Leveraging national social welfare campaigns, the private sector, government benefit programs, and community mobilizations; and
  4. Mobilizing political and social leadership.

The report sheds light on the health and economic toll imposed on at-risk populations by three types of parasitic intestinal worms, known collectively as soil-transmitted helminths (STH). At least 46 million children in the Americas, or nearly 20% in the region, are at risk of becoming infected by an STH.  These infections often lead to chronic malnutrition, impairment of physical and cognitive development, and cyclical poverty for vulnerable populations.

 

Read the report in English or Spanish 

Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts Draws Attention to Pneumococcal Disease in China 

 

PACE Event in ChinaOn March 21, 2011, Sabin's Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts (PACE) held a high-level meeting in Beijing, China, to discuss the burden of pneumococcal disease and the need for prevention through vaccination.  Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death for children under age five in China, accounting for approximately 17% of child mortality in the country.

 

The meeting, convened by PACE and its locally-based member, Dr. Yonghong Yang, brought together officials from the Chinese Ministry of Health, the Chinese CDC, the Chinese Society of Pediatrics and the Chinese Medical Association to discuss the way forward on pneumococcal vaccines.  The conversation was an important step forward for the country, and the ministry of health called for the creation of a working group to further study the issue.

Dengue Vaccine Initiative Launched to Raise Profile of Dengue and Promote Prevention through Vaccination

Favela in BrazilThe Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI), a partnership of the International Vaccine Institute, the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Johns Hopkins University, and the World Health Organization, was officially launched in February 2011. The mission of the DVI is to support the development and use of vaccines to prevent the more than 35 million cases of dengue that occur annually. 

 

DVI builds on the momentum and capabilities of the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative (PDVI) and focuses on creating an enabling environment for vaccine introduction and on maintaining a pipeline of vaccine candidates.  DVI, a product development partnership, is creating an environment for accelerated vaccine introduction by conducting evidence-based research to inform policy, both at the global level and for selected "early adopter" countries, with a particular focus on Colombia and Thailand.  As a product-development partnership, DVI is focused on using the knowledge and expertise of its members to accelerate the development and distribution of a dengue vaccine.

 

Sabin will have the lead role in the DVI's coalition-building, advocacy and communications activities.

 

Read the press release announcing the launch of DVI. 

Richard Hatzfeld to Lead Sabin Communications

Richard HatzfeldRichard Hatzfeld is the Communications Director at Sabin, overseeing all communications activities related to Sabin and the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases.  

 

He has 15 years of experience working in international market development for corporate and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Sabin, he was a senior consultant at APCO Worldwide where he developed public-private partnerships and corporate responsibility platforms and served as senior marketing manager with Sprint Telecom.   

 

He earned his BA in History and French Literature from Grinnell College and his MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

Marcia de Souza Lima Joins Global Network as Director of Programs and Operations

Marcia de Souza LimaDr. Marcia de Souza Lima joined the Global Network as Director of Programs and Operations in January 2011.  Marcia is a key liaison between program teams and global NTD partners through leveraging resources and investments to raise awareness and garner international political support for NTD control efforts.   

 

Prior to joining the Global Network, Marcia served as Chief Medical Officer at The ReLeef Initiative in California and as Vice President, Global Clinical Development at Bausch & Lomb, Inc. in New York.  Already an MD, Marcia is currently working towards her Masters of International Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Greg Simon to Serve as Global Network Senior Technical Officer

Greg SimonGreg Simon has joined the Global Network as Senior Technical Officer. He is responsible for assisting program staff with technical review of proposals and programs in their respective regions.  

 

Greg earned his PhD in immunology at the University of Florida College of Medicine and his MPH at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Erin Knievel to Support Sabin Fundraising Efforts

Erin KnievelErin Knievel joined Sabin as Resource Development Coordinator in February 2011.  Prior to Sabin, Erin worked for FasterCures, a Washington-based think tank.  Most recently she completed a fellowship at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).   

 

She received her MPH degree from The George Washington University and holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Florida.