Vaxess Co-Founder Wants to ‘Play a Role in the Eradication of Polio’
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
It’s a rarity that an idea borne out of a classroom has the ability to take shape in such a powerful way — but the team at Vaxess Technologies has come closer than many.
The company has worked to create silk-stabilized vaccines that can be shipped around the globe without refrigeration, and the creators knew from its infancy that their idea had the ability to change the face of global health.
Out of a Harvard University class, Vaxess Technologies co-founder Michael Schrader and his colleagues were able to transform a ‘very crude business plan’ into a $1 million award from Verizon on February 3, 2015, making an idea that has the potential to change the world into a reality.
“If you look at global vaccination rates, you see this incredible drop as you circle around the equator of the globe. These happen to fall in countries in certain Latin American regions, in certain African regions, in certain South Eastern Asia regions — all of these areas are known for being very hot, humid parts of the world,” Michael Schrader toldAOL.com.
It turns out that is not just a geographic coincidence.
“The regions suffer the most in terms of vaccination rates,” Schrader explained. “If you take a trip around the equator, those are the countries that we believe are going to benefit most from this technology, in part because of the hot humid conditions that they are frequently exposed to.”
In a Q&A with AOL.com, Schrader spoke about how the Verizon funding was a game-changer for the company in helping to extend the reach and access to vaccine products around the world.
What is the number one issue you think Vaxess can solve?
We’ve had some great discussions with folks in the world of global health talking about the logistical challenges of delivering vaccines to the most remote regions of the world. If we step out of our American pocket for a second where we understand that energy and power supplies are pretty readily available everywhere you go and think about what it looks like in the rest of the world, it’s very very daunting to keep a product between two and eight degrees Celsius from the time of manufacturing until delivery to the final patient — which is the current requirement for nearly every vaccine on the market today. So if you imagine the freedom you can impose on these global health organizations, these governments in many cases, that are delivering these products, you basically say, ‘Now you can ship these products without worrying about the cold chain.’ It really gives them the opportunity to expand access much, much, much more easily than they currently can do.
Source: AOL (link opens in a new window)
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