Gates Foundation may team with Serum Institute for polio vaccine

The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation may collaborate with the Serum Institute in Pune, India, to develop an injectable polio vaccine.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates visited Serum Institute's plant on Thursday and met with Cyrus Poonawalla, a company representative. Gates said that he appreciated the speed with which Serum increased its facility's capacity and said that the company had been a major influence on the vaccine world, Times of India reports.

"The world is dependent on the quality vaccines that Serum produces," Gates said, according to Times of India.

Gates said that he would love to see the company grow to produce vaccines for HIV, malaria and other disease in the future. He said that more cost-effective vaccines are needed against multiple diseases.

"The foundation is interested in several new products developed at the Serum Institute," Gates said, according to Times of India. "I would love to see more on vaccine research."

The Serum Institute, the Gates Foundation and the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization are partners in multiple immunization programs worldwide. The Gates Foundation funds clinical trials for Serum while Serum exports vaccines for GAVI projects.

"Injectable polio vaccine is the only vaccine missing from our basket of vaccines," Poonawalla said, according to Times of India.

Poonawalla said that the visit by Gates represented a historic moment for the facility.