I was at a meeting last week hearing the latest on Type 1 diabetes. It's clearly an autoimmune disease with an unknown trigger and some strong genetic predictors; the modern and expanding range of immune modulating drugs are hugely promising as treatments which avoid the need for obsessional use of insulin. Clear benefits for not-so-obsessional teenagers who are diabetic.
But actually that's not what I wanted to say. One wry comment from the lecturer noted that insulin was discovered in April 1921; commercial production was under way by July 1921. That's three months. Nowadays the regulatory path from discovery to commercial use is typically 14 years. Progress?
Here's an account of the first stages in developing a vaccine against Zika. Looks set to beat the 14 year norm; massive resources and a global problem help.
Meanwhile I always used to think of cholera vaccine as being a bit useless but I was wrong. Not much use as a general prophylactic for travellers, perhaps, but highly effective in outbreak control, as this report from Zambia shows.