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EDITORIAL
Prevention is better than cure.

A very familiar idiom and one that is very appropriate for this topic.

Vaccines have long been an important field of research in the industry, a way of providing immunity from the many diseases that run through the world. The first vaccine that was ever developed was one for smallpox in 1798. Since then, the number and types of vaccines have increased rapidly, and not only aimed towards infectious diseases, but even leading to research into long-term terminal diseases such as cancer.

In this issue, we look at vaccine research from various different angles and perspectives.

Dr. Nikolai Petrovsky from Flinders Medical Centre gives us an overview of potential diseases that new and more current vaccine research has been leading up to and developing, including vaccines for cancer, Parkinson's disease and obesity.

Immunology is the field of science that circles around the response of a body's immune system to the diseases and infections that it might be exposed to. Recent advances in the understanding of immunology and the mechanisms in which immunity is achieved could lead to a better and more effective method of understanding and developing vaccines. Drs. Connolly and Zhong from the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) describe the benefits this increased knowledge can bring to the field of vaccine research.

The efficacy of vaccines is often impacted by the body's natural reaction to it and in the case of elderly patients, often these vaccines prove to be ineffective. Dr. Larbi of the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) looks at the reasons for the lack of success in elderly patients and ponders what can be done in the future for increased effectiveness.

Process intensification can be defined as changes to processes that will allow more efficient manufacturing of products. Process intensification in the bio-therapeutics industry has allowed for technologies that could impact the development of these bio-therapeutics, of which vaccines are a part of. Dr. Diallo from Ottawa Hospital Research Institute looks at the different technologies available and predicts how they will help the bio-therapeutics industry to develop further.

Vaccines would not be able to come into practice without the existence of clinical trials. Drs. Wai and Lansang from Quintiles observe that there has been a shift in the location of vaccine clinical trials into the Asia Pacific region and deliberate on the reasons and benefits of this shift.

We do hope that you will enjoy this issue!


Rachel Lim
Editor
Asia Pacific Biotech News

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