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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Developing New Vaccines

Since the use of the first vaccine in the 1790s, vaccination has been the most reliable and cost-effective way of protecting communities from serious diseases. Many of the vaccines in use today have been around for a long time. First generation vaccines – those developed before the 1950s – changed the face of public healthcare, providing protection against diseases with high mortality rates including smallpox, rabies, plague, cholera and TB.

These first generation vaccines were cultured in live animal tissue and no longer meet modern standards for manufacture. They were superseded in the 1960s by second generation vaccines, which are grown in tissue cultured in a sterile environment. For many years, biopharmaceutical companies have avoided investing in the development of new vaccines, but healthcare developments in recent years have forced biotech companies to consider changing their focus.

WHAT ARE VACCINES?

In a broad sense, traditional vaccines are preparations that stimulate the immune system to produce an antibody response following exposure. There are various vaccine types and delivery methods. The two types of vaccine are: those that are prophylactic, intended to prevent future infection; and those designed to have therapeutic benefits, developed to treat an individual who already has the disease.


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Dr Jean-Yves Bonnefoy, VP, Research and Development was appointed Vice President, Research in February 2005 and Vice President, Research and Development in March 2006 in charge of research, clinical development, regulatory affairs and intellectual property at Transgene. Prior to joining Transgene, he was Head of the Canceropôle Lyon Rhônes-Alpes. From 1997 to 2002, he was Director of the Immunology Center of the Pierre Fabre Group in Saint-Julien en Genevois, France. He was previously responsible for the Immunology Department of the Biomedical Research Institute of the Glaxo-Wellcome Group in Geneva, Switzerland. Jean-Yves holds a PhD in Immunology from the Lyons Claude Bernard University and has completed the Senior Management Program of the London Business School.
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Dr Jean-Yves Bonnefoy
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