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Hilleman Laboratories is a Delhi-based vaccine research organization. The firm is an equal-joint venture between US drug maker Merck & Co Inc and British charitable foundation Wellcome Trust. The research firm is named in the honour of Dr. Maurice Ralph Hilleman (1919–2005).[1]

Hilleman Laboratories
FoundersMerck & Co., Inc. & Wellcome Trust
TypeVaccine Development
HeadquartersHamdard Nagar, New Delhi, India
Key People
Dr. Gerd Zettlmeissl (Chairman) Dr. Davinder Gill (CEO)
50 (2016)



Vaccine ResearchEdit

Hilleman Laboratories - Corporate Office

Hilleman Laboratories conducts various vaccine research and science programs to develop cost-effective vaccines especially for developing countries.[2]

Vaccine ProgramsEdit

Hilleman Laboratories is involved into the development of both new vaccines for area of unmet needs, and optimizing existing vaccines. The firm establishes a portfolio of research projects based on disease priorities and technology opportunities that make a difference to vaccine development and programs in developing countries.

Current ProjectsEdit

Heat Stable Rotavirus VaccineEdit

Hilleman Laboratories has recently announced a significant advancement in improving access to the life-saving rotavirus vaccine to children. The vaccine candidate will have optimized bulk antigen production processes combined with simple yet robust formulation and a scalable fill/finish to ensure a competitively priced vaccine which will improve access in the low-resource settings like India.

The firm's focus is to heat stabilize the existing vaccine and bring it to vaccine vial monitor (VVM) 30 levels and higher. This will determine the feasibility of applying latest delivery technologies to an existing oral rotavirus vaccine to make it thermostable for further opportunities.[3]

Optimized Cholera VaccineEdit

Hilleman Laboratories in collaboration with Gotovax AB (a University of Gothenburg spin-off biopharmaceutical company) targets to create highly effective Oral Cholera vaccine at a considerably more affordable price than existing ones available in the market. Easy to use, with cross protection against ETEC diarrhea and optimized with a longer shelf life, this vaccine candidate will be most favorable for geographies with the highest cholera burden like Africa and South Asia.[4]

ETEC VaccineEdit

Hilleman Laboratories, in association with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, has started an ETEC Vaccine project to formulate an oral inactivated vaccine against ETEC diarrhea. The project involves generation of genetically modified vaccine strains that would highly express immunogenic antigens on their surface. This low-cost vaccine option will be most suited for regions with highest cholera cases such as Africa and South Asia.[5]

Low-cost Men ACYWX Conjugate VaccineEdit

Hilleman Laboratories has initiated a two-pronged strategy to develop low-cost combination vaccine for treatment of invasive meningococcal disease. It uses a newer method that makes the use of synthetic organic chemistry to create short oligosaccharides. These oligosaccharides mimic the carbohydrate epitopes present in longer repeat units found in bacterial capsular polysaccharides. In addition, chemical linkers can be directly designed into the synthetic carbohydrates. This latest method has the potential to significantly reduce costs and create new IP, allowing developing country manufacturers undertake more conjugate vaccine development projects.[6]

Shigella VaccineEdit

Hilleman Laboratories has joined hands with Kolkata-based National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) organization to develop a vaccine against Shigella, a bacteria that causes dysentery.

Currently, there is no approved vaccine available to prevent Shigellosis. This bacteria is found to be second most deadly virus that causes severe diarrhea in children after Rotavirus.[7]


  1. ^ "Hilleman Laboratories". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Hilleman Labs to make India research & manufacturing hub". Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Hilleman Labs rotavirus and cholera vaccines enter phase I/II clinical trial". Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Indian firm develops inexpensive cholera vaccine". Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Hilleman Laboratories to develop next generation Oral Cholera Vaccine". Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Hilleman labs develops low-cost meningococcal conjugate vaccine". Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Hilleman Labs, NICED to develop Shigella Vaccine". Retrieved 18 April 2017.