Vaccine: Timeline of key events

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The vaccine was first approved in West Germany, in May, and then in the US in July. The vaccine was regarded as a breakthrough because it was made from a genetically engineered sub-particle of the virus. This made it much safer than the original vaccine which used the virus sub-particle sourced from the blood of hepatitis B sufferers. The vaccine heralded a new era for the production of vaccines and is a major weapon against one of the most infectious diseases. 1986-05-01T00:00:00+0000HepataxinB was developed by Cheil Sugar using the technique licensed from Alfred Prince and John Vnek.1986-11-01T00:00:00+00001986-12-01T00:00:00+0000The technology was developed at Merck's plant in Montgomery County, Philadelphia. The deal was initiated by Roy Vagelos, Merck's CEO. The aim was to help China deal with its major hepatitis B problem.1989-01-01T00:00:00+00001989-01-01T00:00:00+00001989-05-01T00:00:00+0000The approval was given based on results from a clinical trial carried out by Harry Herr and Herbert Oettgen. The BCG vaccine stimulates an immune response that targets both the tuberculosis bacteria and bladder cancer cells. 1990-01-01T00:00:00+00001990-01-01T00:00:00+00001993-01-01T00:00:00+0000Lipsomes carrying mRNA encoding the influenza virus nucleoprotein reported to induce T cells in mice. F Martinon, S Krishnan, G Lenzen, R Magne, E Gomard, JG Guillet, et al., European Journal Immunolology, 23 (1993) 1719–22.1993-07-01T00:00:00+00001994-01-01T00:00:00+00001994-01-01T00:00:00+0000Wyckoff was a major pioneer of x-ray crystallography of bacteria. He helped develop a high-speed centrifuge for segregating microscopic and submicroscopic material to determine the sizes and molecular weights of small particles. In addition he purified the virus that causes equine encephalomyelitis which laid the foundation for the development of a vaccine to combat an epidemic of the disease in horses. His work in this field enabled him to create a vaccine against epidemic typhus for use in World War II.1994-11-03T00:00:00+0000Developed by William Wunner at the Wistar Institute1995-01-01T00:00:00+0000A medical researcher and virologist, Salk pioneered the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Introduced in 1955, Salk's vaccine helped curb one of the most frightening public health diseases in the world. Over 1,800,000 school children took part in the trial to test his vaccine. His vaccine used killed virus rather than weakened forms of the strain of polio used by Sabin to develop another vaccine against the disease. Salk refused to patent his vaccine and made his technique as widely available as possible. His polio vaccine is now on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicine. 1995-06-23T00:00:00+0000Sterne pioneered a vaccine against anthrax in 1935 which effectively wiped out the disease. He used Pasteur's methods to develop the vaccine while based at Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute, north of Pretoria, in South Africa. His method remains the mainstay for the production of anthrax vaccines for livestock today. In addition to the vaccine he developed bacterial culture methods for both anthrax and botulism and his work laid the foundation for a number of highly successful veterinary and animal vaccines. 1997-02-26T00:00:00+00001999-01-01T00:00:00+0000The company was founded on the back of work conducted by Ingmar Hoerr.2000-01-01T00:00:00+00002001-01-01T00:00:00+00002001-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1986First genetically engineered vaccine against hepatitis B approvedScolnickMerckRecombinant DNA, Vaccines, Infectious diseases
Nov 1986Low-cost plasma hepatitis B vaccine gained approval in South KoreaPrince, VnekCheil SugarVaccines
Dec 1986Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, Engerix-B, approved in Belgium SmithKline BiologicalsVaccines, Recombinant DNA, Infectious diseases
1989Merck sold hepatitis B vaccination manufacturing technology to Chinese government for $7millionVagelosMerckVaccines
Jan 1989Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, Engerix-B, approved in US SmithKline BiologicalsVaccines, Recombinant DNA, Infectious diseases
May 1989Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, GenHevac, approved in France Pasteur VaccinsVaccines, Recombinant DNA, Infectious diseases
1990US FDA approved BCG, a bacterial vaccine against tuberculosis, to treat early stage bladder cancer. It was the first FDA approved immunotherapyHerr, OettgenMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Virology, Vaccines
1990Hepatitis B vaccine cost US$3 per dose  Vaccines, Infectious diseases
1993Hepatitis B vaccination manufacturing plant opened in Beijing, aided by Merck MerckVaccines
Jul 1993First evidence that mRNA could provide a means for vaccinesMartinon, Krishnan, Lenzen, Magne, Gomard, GuilletINSERMmRNA, RNA, Vaccines
1994Ten years after rolling out its nationwide hepatitis B vaccination programme Taiwan reported its children's HBsAg carrier rate had reduced from 10% to less than 1%  Vaccines, Infectious diseases
1994Hepatitis B vaccination manufacturing plant opened in Shenzhen, aided by Merck  Vaccines
3 Nov 1994Ralph W G Wyckoff diedWyckoffUniversity of Michigan, University of ArizonaBacteriology, Virology, Vaccines
1995US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccine Wistar InstituteVaccine, Virology
23 Jun 1995Jonas Salk diedSalkUniversity of PittsburghVirology, Vaccines, Infectious diseases
26 Feb 1997Max Sterne diedSterneOnderstepoort Veterinary Research InstituteVaccines, Infectious diseases
1999Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Vaccine Fund (VF) launched programme to support poor countries roll-out hepatitis B vaccination  Vaccines, Infectious diseases
2000CureVac, a spin out company, set up to develop mRNA for vaccinesIngmar HoerrCureVacmRNA, vaccines
2001WHO recorded that 126 (66%) of its 191 member states had universal infant or childhood hepatitis B vaccination programmes  Vaccines, Infectious diseases
2001Hepatitis B vaccine cost US$0.30 per dose  Vaccines, Infectious diseases

1986

First genetically engineered vaccine against hepatitis B approved

Nov 1986

Low-cost plasma hepatitis B vaccine gained approval in South Korea

Dec 1986

Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, Engerix-B, approved in Belgium

1989

Merck sold hepatitis B vaccination manufacturing technology to Chinese government for $7million

Jan 1989

Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, Engerix-B, approved in US

May 1989

Genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, GenHevac, approved in France

1990

US FDA approved BCG, a bacterial vaccine against tuberculosis, to treat early stage bladder cancer. It was the first FDA approved immunotherapy

1990

Hepatitis B vaccine cost US$3 per dose

1993

Hepatitis B vaccination manufacturing plant opened in Beijing, aided by Merck

Jul 1993

First evidence that mRNA could provide a means for vaccines

1994

Ten years after rolling out its nationwide hepatitis B vaccination programme Taiwan reported its children's HBsAg carrier rate had reduced from 10% to less than 1%

1994

Hepatitis B vaccination manufacturing plant opened in Shenzhen, aided by Merck

3 Nov 1994

Ralph W G Wyckoff died

1995

US licensed first wildlife rabies vaccine

23 Jun 1995

Jonas Salk died

26 Feb 1997

Max Sterne died

1999

Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Vaccine Fund (VF) launched programme to support poor countries roll-out hepatitis B vaccination

2000

CureVac, a spin out company, set up to develop mRNA for vaccines

2001

WHO recorded that 126 (66%) of its 191 member states had universal infant or childhood hepatitis B vaccination programmes

2001

Hepatitis B vaccine cost US$0.30 per dose

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