The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) has signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hilleman Laboratories to establish a collaborative relationship in the pursuit of joint research and development of vaccines to broaden the availability of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Together, both IVI and Hilleman Laboratories bring to the partnership extensive expertise in the full spectrum of vaccine development and share a commitment to advancing the development of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for infectious diseases that affect LMICs.
Under the MOU, IVI and Hilleman Laboratories will develop joint funding frameworks for research and development and manufacturing of affordable vaccines to improve vaccination coverage among populations in LMICs. This will include activities such as early development of novel or improved vaccines, candidate selection, design, manufacturing process development, and clinical studies.
The partners will work closely to leverage Hilleman’s expertise in the areas of vaccine development and manufacturing, and to tap into IVI’s experienced clinical and EPI teams, which will advance vaccine candidates from clinical development through to commercialization.
“IVI is pleased to enter a collaborative relationship with Hilleman to advance our shared goal of accelerating vaccines for high-burden infectious diseases in LMICs. Solving global health challenges requires scientific collaboration at all stages, and we look forward to combining IVI and Hilleman’s complementary strengths across the vaccine development process to make available safe, effective, and affordable vaccines that are critically needed around the world,” said Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI.
“Hilleman recognizes that inequality in health and vaccination coverage can have ramifications for the wider society. We believe that everyone in the healthcare ecosystem has a role to play in creating a healthier world for all. We are looking forward to our collaboration with IVI to accelerate broad and equitable access to vaccines for populations in LMICs, specifically in areas with high unmet public health needs,” said Dr Raman Rao, Chief Executive Officer, Hilleman Laboratories.
Vaccines remain a crucial intervention against infectious diseases, particularly in LMICs. The last two decades have seen substantial progress in vaccination due to a series of global initiatives aimed at addressing vaccine inequality. However, progress in the last two years has stalled or even reversed, with a decline in global coverage of vaccine-preventable diseases such as hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis A, measles, mumps, pneumococcal diseases, polio, rotaviruses, rubella, tetanus, and yellow fever from 86% in 2019 to 83% in 2020.
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a non-profit international organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health.
IVI’s current portfolio includes vaccines at all stages of pre-clinical and clinical development for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, such as cholera, typhoid, chikungunya, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, hepatitis E, HPV, COVID-19, and more. IVI developed the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine, pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO), and developed a new-generation typhoid conjugate vaccine that is currently under assessment for WHO PQ.
IVI is headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea with a Europe Regional Office in Sweden and Collaborating Centers in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. 39 countries and the WHO are members of IVI, and the governments of the Republic of Korea, Sweden, India, and Finland provide state funding. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int.
About Hilleman Laboratories
Hilleman Laboratories was established in 2009 as an equal joint venture between Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (MSD), a global research-driven pharmaceutical company and Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to human and animal health. Hilleman Laboratories’ mission is to develop affordable vaccines and biologics against infectious diseases that affect low- and middle-income countries.
The company’s expertise in end-to-end product development is targeted at creating novel vaccines and biologics in areas of high unmet need as well as adapting existing vaccines and biologics with more effective delivery tools to meet challenging environments in developing countries. Hilleman Laboratories also seeks to collaborate with local, regional, and global partners and stakeholders, including policymakers and governments, to facilitate wider, affordable access to life-saving vaccines and biologics.
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 Ali, H., Hartner, A., Echeverria-Londono, S., Roth, J., Li, X., & Abbas, K. et al. (2022). Vaccine equity in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal For Equity In Health, 21(1). doi: 10.1186/s12939-022-01678-5
 Immunization coverage. Retrieved 21 September 2022, from https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/immunization-coverage