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Indian scientists are preparing to develop a new meningitis A vaccine which it is claimed will be available for distribution throughout tropical Africa for one-fifth of the cost of those being developed in the West. The move has been heralded as a signal that cheaper new drugs and vaccines may be on the way as research and development (R&D) takes off in developing countries.

In what is being described as a groundbreaking shift in vaccine development, the Serum Institute of India (SII) will apply a US-developed technology to a molecule produced by a Dutch company in order to develop a new vaccine.

SII's executive director for regulatory affairs, Suresh Jadhav, says that moving vaccine R&D to developing countries could eventually cut the cost of new drug development 'by a factor of ten'. Jadhav predicts that companies in Brazil, Cuba and Indonesia will expand their R&D programmes and start creating cheaper drugs and vaccines for use in developing countries.

Link to full news story in The Scientist

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