Vaccine Development

Well-intentioned immunization efforts ignore economic realities, observers contend.

By all accounts, the 1990s should be a monumental decade for pediatric vaccines. Wielding new molecular tools like genetic engineering, scientists can craft safer and more creative vaccines than ever imagined. Yet poor communication and disparate desires among industry players plague the vaccine pipeline, according to insiders. As a result, they say, vaccine R&D is taking a hit, investors are taking a hike, and everyone is suffering unnecessary headaches.

RED FLAG: Christine Grant says price controls make investors wary.
"[There is] a huge disconnect between industrial vaccine developers, research scientists, government, and vaccines' end users, like pediatricians," Philip Russell told The Scientist earlier this spring (K.S. Brown, April 1, 1996, page 14). Russell is a Johns Hopkins University vaccinologist and president of the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Foundation, a New Canaan, Conn.-based nonprofit institution that promotes vaccine production....

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