GlaxoSmithKline plc and Sanofi are the first two takers in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Vaccine Discovery Partnership initiative, which aims to speed vaccine development by working directly with pharmas on overarching problems in vaccine development.

The Vaccine Discovery Partnership (VxDP), announced at Gates' annual Grand Challenges Meeting in Brazil, is the result of a two-year brainstorming effort Gates undertook with players in the vaccine arena, including academics, companies, product-development partnerships, government researchers and funders.