Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla (left) and Mr. Adar C. Poonawalla (right) with Mr. Bill Gates (centre), co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, during his visit to the Serum Institute of India
Pune: Bill Gates on Thursday visited the Serum Institute of India in Pune, met its CMD Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla whom he referred to as one of the seven vaccine heroes, and evinced interest in several products it is developing, “It’s great to be here and there are many new products the Foundation is interested in,” he Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said in an interaction with the media.
Gates is likely to cement ties with the Institute for developing an injectable polio vaccine, more effective than polio drops.
Gates expressed interest in the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine being developed at the Institute. “There is a need for cost-effective vaccines against various infectious diseases and the Foundation is interested in several new products developed at the Serum Institute...,” Gates said.
The Institute which exports to 130 nations is also developing affordable rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines for Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). Clinical trials are being funded by the Foundation. “Serum has played an important role in offering the vaccines at low prices,” Gates said.
“Cyrus Poonawalla is among the seven vaccine heroes and is a multiple winner with vaccines against measles and others. He has deeply affected the vaccine world and people are dependent on the quality work done at Serum,” Gates said.