Pneumococcal Vaccines for Developing Countries
Having witnessed the enormous impact of a vaccine that essentially eradicated meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) in the United States, Dr. Richard Malley, MD, Senior Associate Physician in Medicine at Children’s, set out to develop a vaccine that would be effective against Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major cause of mortality in children under the age of five, particularly in the developing world. Currently available pneumococcal vaccines are extremely expensive and do not protect against all the strains that affect children in developing countries. Dr. Malley’s goal has been to develop a vaccine that would be effective at an early age, inexpensive, and provide immunity against all pneumococcal strains. Working for over ten years with a number of colleagues, including his mentor, Dr. Porter Anderson, the co-inventor of the Hib conjugate vaccine, Dr. Malley has developed two vaccine strategies and is gearing up to test these vaccines in the clinic.
In this interview, we had the chance to sit down with Dr. Malley and discuss his team’s strategies to develop these vaccines, the development and collaborations they set up to further this goal, and the future developments needed to make their vision a reality.