Social Vaccine Strategies

The Pitch

Social Vaccine Strategies uses novel medical treatments and social vaccine ventures to diminish tropical infectious diseases (TIDs) transmission of TID’s that have no vaccine and little prospect of an imminent vaccine.

Richard Witzig

Richard Witzig

The Entrepreneur

Richard Witzig is a physician trained in medicine, infectious diseases, public health, tropical medicine, and health and human rights, and has worked in Peru, Pakistan, Haiti, England, Switzerland, and the USA. His main research and practical work concentrate on tropical diseases, such as malaria, cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, and have informed his new CL treatment strategy, which has already proven successful in Peru and Pakistan. Future work focuses on Phase III testing and scaling up CL treatment in the 5 countries most affected, and creating social strategies to reach critical engagement and local manufacturing of the CL treatment in endemic areas.

The Impact

  • Developed a low-cost, effective treatment for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL), a disease present in dozens of countries around the world. The treatment has a 75% cure rate
  • Hired 3 Syrian doctors and established 2 active clinics to deploy Cutaneous Leishmaniasis treatment on the Turkey-Syria border, where the disease has spread rapidly since civil war broke out in 2011
  • Established contacts with 2 Turkish medical schools and the Turkish NIH
  • Presented at international meetings, most recently the 2015 European Congress of Tropical Medicine and International Health in Basel, Switzerland
  • Completed Peruvian and Pakistani studies that achieved Proof of Concept of the low-cost, low-tech, efficacious HECT-CL treatment for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis


2013-2014 Ventures




Press Coverage

SVS has learned valuable lessons from Propeller’s Lean Startup training and peer learning and benefited from Propeller mentorship in order to startup a non-profit organization dedicated to international health and human rights.

Richard Witzig
Founder, Social Vaccine Strategies (Propeller '14)