Did you know that millions of people die each year because the vaccines they need are rendered ineffective due to lack of refrigeration? Nanoly Bioscience is developing a polymer shield for vaccines that will eliminate the need for refrigeration and lower mortality rates.
As anyone who has traveled the globe knows access to medical care is not something to be taken for granted. Last year alone, more than 20 million children worldwide lacked access to routine, life-saving immunizations. Nearly two million people died from vaccine-preventable diseases.
One of the key reasons that vaccines are not administered in many locales is that they are temperature-sensitive. That means vials must be kept at a certain temperature, not only through the shipping process, but at destinations where working refrigerators—or even electricity to power them—may not be available.
To a group of young visionaries in the U.S., these startling figures were simply unacceptable. Nanoly Bioscience co-founders Balaji Sridhar, Mark Tibbitt, Peter Matheu, Nanxi Liu, and Ting-Ting Zhou had all traveled extensively or lived abroad during their lives, and they had all seen firsthand remote locales where medical services were not available. They had all looked into the faces of people who’d lost loved ones unnecessarily. And, together, they had the skills, the smarts, and the humanitarian drive that would make them a formidable force for good in the world.
To solve the problem, the team from Nanoly Bioscience is developing a novel, polymer shield to protect and stabilize vaccines without the need for refrigeration. As a result, vaccines could be shipped virtually anywhere in the world, saving lives on a global scale.
For their innovative work and solid business plan, Nanoly Bioscience was awarded Best of Category in Social Innovation at the 2012 Intel Global Challenge. The award included a USD 15,000 prize, valuable feedback from other entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and a serious credential to benefit the start-up in further fundraising efforts.
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