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The Interview Series – Dr Steve Chatfield, Vaccine Expert Consultant

Dr. Steve Chatfield, Consultant and Advisor to the Life Sciences Industry, recently joined the Stablepharma Ltd Advisory Board, where he is initially advising on, and progressing the launch of Stablepharma’s SPVX02, a fridge-free vaccine for the prevention of Tetanus diphtheria.

With a long and varied career in the Life Sciences Industry, Steve is not only an advisor but a ‘doer’ both in the private and public health sector. He has a particular passion in helping organisations translate their research – helping to steer technologies on the path to commercialisation. His expertise in this area is of particular interest to the commercial team at Stablepharma, as they progress towards the launch and commercialisation of their first two fridge-free vaccines SPVX02 and SPVX06 (Tetanus mono).

Steve has also worked with the Government and the Health Protection Agency, where he was Director of the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response at Porton Down, responsible for protecting and responding to threats such as emerging diseases, pandemics and bioterrorist threats.

Given his background and over 40-years’ experience within life sciences, and the numerous companies that he currently advises, I asked Steve what specifically attracted him to Stablepharma Ltd? “From the beginning of my career I have always been focused on developing vaccines that could be deployed more easily, particularly in LMIC countries. My early focus was the development of oral “drinkable” vaccines which could be given in fewer doses without the need for needles. What is really exciting about Stablepharma’s technology is that it has the potential to abolish the cold chain for vaccine storage, which will address some of the major global challenges we face today with regard to distribution and deployment, and at the same time, reducing the impact on the environment by removing the cost and emissions of the global cold chain”.

Stablepharma’s technology platform, StablevaX™ converts existing approved vaccines to fridge-free status.

Steve played a key role as an advisor to the Vaccines task force during the COVID pandemic and I asked him how challenging that role was, given the ‘unknown elements’ around Covid and how to deal with its impact? “I think we all quickly realised that the only way to return to normality, swiftly and safely, was to have an effective vaccine that would reduce the incidence of the virus and protect against serious disease and mortality. The UK was already a global leader in vaccine research and development, but the challenge was not only to identify the right technologies, but then to find new ways of working to get them developed, manufactured and commercialised”.

“The VTF drove and facilitated this new way of working by forging close partnerships with Academia, Industry, Government, NHS and the MHRA, effectively harnessing a UK plc infrastructure and capabilities to achieve what had never been done before – licensing of safe effective vaccines within a year of the start of the pandemic. Although the vaccines we now have are effective, global distribution and deployment is still far from ideal due to the need for cold storage in freezers and fridges. If thermostable, fridge-free vaccines had been available, distribution and waste challenges could have been avoided. As we move forward, this is where Stablepharma’s technology, StablevaX™, can have a real impact on vaccine access and storage around the world and I am delighted to be part of this process”.

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