Expert: New strategy needed for biodefense vaccine development

Kendall Hoyt, an assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School specializing in U.S. biodefense policy, research and development strategy, recently said that a new strategy is needed for vaccine development.

Hoyt cited the innovations in vaccine development that happened during World War II as a result of a commitment to public service and the existence of integrated research practices.

Today, however, innovation is declining, she warned, because of factors related to intellectual property, stricter regulations, requirements for clinical trials, market forces and a shift in the institutional environment.

"The lab-to-industry handoff fumbled and innovation rates went down," Hoyt said. "We need to change how we do research and what we do research on. We need to re-engineer the process by which we develop vaccines. Accelerated development times will improve national security and improve productivity. We have seen transformative innovation in the cell phone, Internet and semiconductor industries. The common element is to focus on integrated research productivity. This is what I have been working on."

Hoyt is the author of "Long Shot: Vaccines for National Defense," and has published articles in International Security, the Journal of Public Health Policy and the New York Times. She also serves on the National Research COuncil Committee on the Department of Defense's Programs to Counter Biological Threats.