Many of us have heard the news that there are “300 new vaccines in the pipeline.”
Of course, no one really believes that means scientists are out there developing vaccines against 300 separate diseases or that it will mean that kids will some day get 300 more vaccines.
So what does it mean?
Surprisingly, it doesn’t even mean 300 new vaccines in the pipeline anymore. The latest, 2016 update of the Medicines in Development for Vaccines report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America now states that there are “More Than 250 Vaccines in Development Pipeline.”
To understand what that means, you have to take a look at the vaccines being developed, which include:
- 124 for infectious diseases
- 105 for cancers
- thirteen for allergies
- eight for neurological disorders
- seven for other conditions
And even of the 124 vaccines in development or testing for infectious diseases:
- 36 are to prevent or treat HIV
- 25 are to prevent influenza, including new nasal flu vaccines
- 8 are for RSV
- 8 are for Ebola
So when they talk about “300 vaccines in the pipeline,” remember that even when you consider that only 124 of them are for infectious diseases, of those, 77 are for just 4 different infectious diseases.
The other 47 vaccines in various stages of development include vaccines for CMV, tuberculosis, dengue, Zika, GBS, West Nile virus, Staph, herpes, hepatitis C, E. coli, pseudomonas, malaria, C. diff infections, Shigella, norovirus, anthrax, smallpox, and ricin.
Some others are for infections that you have likely never heard of, including viral hemorrhagic fever, Ross River virus infections, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis.
And unfortunately, only 17 of these infectious disease vaccines are in stage III trials, which means that very, very few are close to seeing the inside of a pediatrician’s office.
Potential New Vaccines
Which vaccines have the greatest potential to be protecting our kids soon?
Based on which vaccines have completed phase III trials and have been submitted for registration to the FDA, the one likely candidate seems to be:
- Dengvaxia – a dengue fever vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur which has already been approved in Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, El Salvador and Costa Rica and is on a Fast Tract schedule in the United States
Other vaccines in late development phases include:
- Shingrix – a new shingles vaccine
- an MMR vaccine from GSK (already available in other countries)
- Men Quad TT – a “second generation” meningococcal vaccine
And we may see the combination, pentavalent MenABCW-135Y meningococcal vaccine by 2021.
So much for 300 new vaccines…
For More Information on New Vaccines:
- New Vaccines
- New Vaccines on the Horizon
- Potential New Vaccines
- The future of vaccines
- The Future of Immunization
- Why are new vaccines being added to the list?
- WHO – Questions and Answers on Dengue Vaccines
- Sanofi R&D Portfolio
- Merck Pipeline
- GSK Product Pipeline
- Pfizer Product Pipeline