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Critical developing world vaccine need to be -

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The vaccine against the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus behind most cases of
cervical cancer, is widely available in developed nations. But where it's really needed is in poor
countries, where screening measures are non-existent. Eighty-eight per cent of the 275,000 women
that die each year from the disease are in poor countries, but that may be reversed with a new
agreement to fund the HPV vaccine.

TONY EASTLEY: Most of the 275,000 women who die each year from cervical cancer come from poor
countries where human papillomavirus vaccine is scarcely available.

However overnight, thanks to a deal that has been done, the vaccine will be made available on a
mass scale to nine developing countries.

Lexi Metherell reports.

LEXI METHERELL: Twenty years ago when Professor Ian Frazer made the first steps towards the
creation of the cervical cancer vaccine, it was the developing world he had in mind.

IAN FRAZER: When we came up with the technology that led to the vaccine, we always felt this was a
vaccine for the developing world. In the developed world we have very good means of preventing
cervical cancer through screening but in the developing world there is no screening and there is no
treatment for the majority of patients who develop cervical cancer either.

So to get cervical cancer is a death sentence there and therefore getting the vaccine out there is
critically important.

LEXI METHERELL: And it now looks like that need will be met.

The GAVI Alliance which is backed by the billionaire Bill Gates' foundation agreed at a board
meeting in Bangladesh overnight to deliver the human papillomavirus vaccine to countries that want
it.

IAN FRAZER: This will enable countries that can't even afford the subsidised rate that the vaccine
companies are making available in the developing world now; it will give them a chance to get a
vaccine program where all they'll have to start with is the cost of delivering the vaccine.

LEXI METHERELL: The GAVI Alliance says with its decision the vaccine could be delivered to 2
million women by 2015. But the deputy chief executive of the alliance, Helen Evans, says drug
companies still need to agree to sell it at a sustainable price.

HELEN EVANS: They offered to provide it at $5 a dose and said that was a 67 per cent reduction.
We're reasonably confident that we will be able to get a lower price.

LEXI METHERELL: If all goes to plan, the HPV vaccine will be widely available in developing
countries, only six or so years after it was first licensed in 2006.

Professor Frazer says that's rare for a vaccine.

IAN FRAZER: The tradition is that vaccines become available in the developed world first and then
it can be as long as 20 to 30 years before they become fully available in the developing world. For
this particular vaccine, if we can manage to get a GAVI sponsored program that will enable the
vaccine to get out into the developing world as soon as six years after it became available, that
would be a real plus.

LEXI METHERELL: So this is a vision being realised for you?

IAN FRAZER: For me, absolutely this is a vision being realised. This is what we developed the
vaccine for.

TONY EASTLEY: Professor Ian Frazer speaking to Lexi Metherell.