How we discover new vaccines

Our vaccines R&D is centered on discovering and developing prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines to protect people against infectious diseases, cancers and chronic disorders. Every disease has its own characteristics, and developing a vaccine to protect against a specific disease requires a unique approach.

Most diseases are caused by pathogens - typically viruses, bacteria or parasites - that attack the body’s natural immune system. Vaccines use these pathogens - or small inactive parts of them - to stimulate our natural immunity and so provide protection against infection.

The challenge faced by our scientists is to develop vaccines that incorporate the appropriate pathogen or component of the pathogen which will trigger our own immunity and provide protection.

Although every disease, infectious or not, will have its own challenges, our work to develop and introduce a new vaccine typically goes through seven stages:

Vaccines research and development cycle