Our featured projects
A focus on sustainable solutions
PATH’s projects in China include work in vaccine research, development, and introduction; Woman’s Condom product development and promotion; and new diagnostic tools for tuberculosis (TB). A sampling of our projects follows.
Advancing Rotavirus Vaccine Development
Each year, an estimated 1.3 million children die from severe diarrhea and millions more are hospitalized. The most common cause of severe childhood diarrhea—accounting for 2 million hospitalizations and nearly 450,000 deaths each year—is rotavirus. In collaboration with PATH’s Vaccine Development Program, we are supporting the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group) in the development of their vaccine candidate.
Assessing Chinese vaccine manufacturers
We are working with PATH’s Vaccine Development Global Program to assess the readiness of the China National Biotec Group’s six vaccine institutes to meet U.S. Food & Drug Administration and World Health Organization prequalification standards for good manufacturing practices.
Japanese Encephalitis Project
Our work through the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Project aims to eliminate clinical JE, a deadly and debilitating disease that mainly strikes poor rural communities in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Since 2006, our Chinese manufacturing partner, Chengdu Institute of Biological Products (a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group), has manufactured more than 130 million doses of JE vaccine for export to Southeast Asian countries. Most of the project activities ended in November 2009, but we continue to work with PATH’s Vaccine Access and Delivery Global Program to obtain World Health Organization prequalification for the JE vaccine.
Polio vaccine development and scale-up project (PVD)
PVD, a project of our Vaccine Development Global Program, aims to accelerate the development of high-quality, low-cost polio vaccines needed in the peri- and post-eradication era. These include the development of lower-cost oral polio vaccine, new inactivated polio vaccines, and pediatric combination vaccines containing inactivated polio vaccine. The project has performed due diligence assessments in China at Tiantan Bio.
Protection Options for Women (POW)
Hundreds of thousands of women die every year from complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Women represent more than half of HIV infections worldwide and heterosexual contact is one of the primary modes of transmission. POW is a product-development partnership that seeks to improve sexual and reproductive health by expanding access to the Woman’s Condom, a project of PATH’s Technology Solutions Global Program. In 2008, PATH licensed the Dahua Medical Apparatus Company of Shanghai to manufacture and distribute the Woman’s Condom. Now, the project is focused on building evidence of product effectiveness, achieving international regulatory approvals, developing markets in China and sub-Saharan Africa, and undertaking advocacy initiatives to raise awareness of and demand for the Woman’s Condom.
Tuberculosis new diagnostic demonstration project
China has the highest number of multidrug-resistant cases of tuberculosis (TB) in the world and the second largest number of TB cases from all causes. Each year in China, there are an estimated 1.3 million new cases of TB; 120,000 are multidrug resistant. To improve rapid detection of TB, we are collaborating with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics and the Hong Kong Supranational Reference Laboratory to assist the Chinese National TB Reference Laboratory in determining the operational feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and impact of innovative new TB diagnostic tools. These tools include iLED microscopy to improve sensitivity of microscopy, Hain Line Probe Assay and Genechip for rapid diagnosis of drug-resistant TB, Gene-Xpert for rapid detection of TB and rifampicin-resistant TB strains, and LAMP technology for rapid diagnosis of all forms of pulmonary TB, especially in smear negative sputum.
Woman’s Condom project
An estimated 356,000 women die every year from complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, with unsafe abortion accounting for a high percentage of maternal deaths. According to 2011 estimates, women represent more than half of the 33 million HIV infections worldwide and heterosexual contact is one of the primary modes of transmission. The Woman’s Condom project at PATH aims to provide a new, woman-initiated choice for protection against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. In 2008, PATH licensed the Dahua Medical Apparatus Company of Shanghai to manufacture and distribute the Woman’s Condom. Dahua has received licenses and approvals for the Woman’s Condom that allow for distribution and marketing in China and Europe.
Safe Water Project
Safe drinking water is essential to good health and quality of life. In resource-poor settings, however, water often comes from unsafe sources and carries deadly pathogens. Household water treatment and safe storage systems are among the most simple, acceptable, affordable, and effective methods of getting safe drinking water to people. We’re working with PATH’s Technology Solutions Global Program to catalyze changes within the household water product category to benefit low-income populations. In China, we partner with three Chinese manufacturers to produce, distribute, and sell gravity-fed devices based on PATH’s design platform and guidelines. The key to PATH’s platform strategy is a common interface connection so participating brands’ products and consumable filter cartridges are all interoperable. The market for the products is Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.