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New partnership to tackle polio

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Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda has teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a new push to eradicate polio.

The Gates Foundation is providing US$38 million (AU$52.5 million) to Takeda to develop, license and supply at least 50 million doses a year of Sabin-strain inactivated poliovirus vaccine to more than 70 developing countries.

Takeda president and chief executive officer Christophe Weber said the company was honoured to partner with the Gates Foundation.

“This represents a major commitment by a Japanese company to the health of children in developing countries around the world,” Mr Weber said.

The vaccine will be manufactured at Takeda’s facility in Hikari, Japan, and will be provided at an affordable price to developing countries receiving support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“In 2016, the world is closer than ever to eradicating polio,” Gates Foundation global development president Chris Elias said.

“To eradicate polio, we need to ensure that every last child is protected from the disease. This partnership will help to ensure that the world has enough vaccine to get the job done and maintain a polio-free world.”

Polio is so highly infectious that the World Health Organisation considers a single confirmed case to be an epidemic.

Maria Hawthorne

 

 

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