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Professionals from Diverse Backgrounds Come Together for a Common Cause

by Medindia Content Team on September 25, 2007 at 7:07 PM
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Professionals from Diverse Backgrounds Come Together for a Common Cause

Newsweek in its Oct. 1 issue profiled a doctor, a biologist, an engineer and a banker who are working separately -- and together -- to develop and deliver vaccines for diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, to people worldwide.

The individuals profiled are:

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Fred Binka, executive director of INDEPTH: Binka's organization is working to establish a comprehensive database of people treated at 37 research centers across Africa, Asia and Central America. According to Newsweek, databases such as Binka's seek to ensure that clinical trials in developing countries comply with standards required by developed countries.

Emilio Emini, head of vaccine development at Wyeth: Emini began working in HIV vaccine development in the early 1980s as a researcher for Merck and also headed the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative from 2003 to 2005. He said his team at Wyeth currently is pursuing several approaches to experimental HIV vaccines.
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David Edwards, a biomedical engineer at Harvard University: Edwards has been developing a "spray-drying" technology that could produce vaccines against any disease, including TB, according to Newsweek. His spray-drying technology can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively; is stable at room temperature; and is inhaled, which would eliminate the use of a needle for treatment.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently awarded grants to six experimental TB vaccines, including a powdered version of Mycobacterium TB that Edwards produced using his technology.

Christopher Egerton-Warburton, a banker at RMB International and co-creator of the International Finance Facility for Immunization: IFFIm -- a project requested by the British government and launched last November -- raises money on the bond market for vaccine development.

According to Newsweek, Irish musician Bono, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Pope Benedict XVI are among those who have invested in Egerton-Warburton's project.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
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