Michael Porter (1990) concludes that “Companies achieve competitive advantage through acts of innovation. They approach innovation in its broadest sense, including both new technologies and new ways of doing things.”
Since the beginning of the human race, people have struggled with the fight against disease. The invention of vaccines help people builds immune system to prevent viruses and diseases. In 1796, Edward Jenner who is a physician made an experiment then found that use cow pox virus could made people immune to smallpox. This significant innovation was finally realized when the World Health Organization certified that one of the worst diseases of human society had been wiped out by a vaccine developed nearly 200 years before (Fenner et al., 1988). Currently, according to the World Health Organization, vaccines are available to protect against more than
26 infectious diseases.
In terms of the innovation types, based on 4Ps approach, vaccines can be defined as product innovation due to new vaccines appears constantly. Moreover, according to
Hoyt (2006), vaccine is also a radical innovation since some of them target a previously unpreventable disease and a manufacturing process is totally new.
Although, the development of vaccines gained remarkable achievement, it experienced a long and complex process.
Whether an innovation success or failure can be influenced by many factors, such as the role of companies, teams, countries, personalities, and market, technology, so on.
In general, vaccine is a successful innovation since vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability and death. There has been a change in perception of what comprises vaccines innovation over the past 20 years to meet the needs of developing countries (Widdus, 2010). The WHO had recommended that children should be vaccinated for Hepatitis B because the infection is widespread, but large multinational
pharmaceutical companies held monopolies on the vaccine production (Chakma et al,
2011). Therefore, hepatitis B vaccine has an expensive price about $23 a dose that families from developing countries can not afford vaccination. In particular, Indian has a serious situation that over 240,000 people die every year from Hepatitis B infection since the lack of access to vaccines.
Under this situation, a successful vaccine innovation happened. Shantha Biothchnics, a pioneering Indian biotechnology company founded in 1993, saw a large potential domestic market and developed innovative processes for manufacturing Hepatitis B vaccine with low-cost. The innovation of vaccine is the second generation model called market pull. Taking Shantha as an example, the key reason for the company to innovative vaccine is the large vaccination demands in Indian, even for all developing countries. After the company identifying the needs of market, the low-cost Hepatitis B vaccine is developed and manufactured. Then, the last stage is selling the product to markets. In 1997, Shantha announced India’s first home-grown recombinant product named Shanvac-B which is about $1 a dose (Shekhar, 2008) .The vaccine was produced in Pichia pastoris, a yeast system different from that used by the original inventors of the Vaccine. Although at the time Pichia pastoris was being used for research purposes, Dr. Varaprasad was told by the manufacturers that Shantha was the first company to use Pichia pastoris to produce a commercial product(Chakma et al,
2011). The vaccines were launched at $1 because Dr. Varaprasad want to make the vaccine affordable to Indian families and other developing countries. From the annual report of Shantha, the sales of first year in 1997 exceeded $1.6 million mostly financed by the public health agencies. In 2009, revenues exceeding $90 million have indicated the high-volume, low-margin strategy of Shantha(Torsoli, 2009). After
Hepatitis B, Shantha continued to develop process innovations and become the first
Indian company to be