IVI commemorates 20th Anniversary
- IVI’s OCV is a key element of the WHO’s Ending Cholera initiative aimed at reducing cholera deaths by 90% by 2030
- Institute accelerates clinical development of typhoid vaccine; set to start collaborative research on tuberculosis with Harvard Medical School
- Teams up with Korean health ministry, Gates Foundation, industry to launch new public-private fund to drive innovations for global health
- Director General: ‘IVI expresses our deepest gratitude to donors, partners and other friends; looks forward to lasting partnerships’
SEOUL, Korea--The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to research and development of new vaccines for global health, commemorated its 20th anniversary on November 15.
|Dr. Park Neung-hoo, Minister of Health and Welfare of the Republic of Korea, delivers his congratulatory speech at the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)’s 20th Anniversary Global Vaccine Forum at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul on November 15, 2017.|
IVI hosted a global vaccine forum for vaccine and public health professionals at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul, commemorating the historic milestone. The forum had more than 150 people in attendance from industry and academia from across Korea and the world. Korean Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo delivered a congratulatory speech, in which he announced plans for a new public-private fund designed to support development of vaccines, diagnostics and drugs for global health, while renewing the Korean government’s commitment to IVI.
“With the Research Innovation for Global Health Technology (RIGHT) fund to be launched next year, I expect that the Korean government will be able to contribute to advancing global health by bringing together the capabilities of the Gates Foundation, IVI, and domestic bio-pharmaceutical companies,” the minister said. “In addition, the Korean government will continue to support IVI to make sure that the institute will fulfill its mandate as a center of global vaccine research.”
Prof. Shin Seung-il, Senior Health Advisor and Director of the IVI Project for the United Nations Development Program gave his keynote speech entitled “Establishment of IVI and Global Health – a short history,” while IVI Director General Dr. Jerome Kim addressed “IVI’s Present and Future” to reflect upon its past successes and help set future direction.
The forum was followed by a ceremony and gala that brought together 120 participants, including donors and supporters, senior government officials from Korea such as Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Cho Hyun, and KCDC director Dr. Jeong Eun-kyeong, foreign diplomats in Seoul, and members of the IVI Board of Trustees, including its Vice Chairman Mr. George Bickerstaff.
The ceremony honored five people with plaques for their national and individual contributions to IVI’s establishment and development. These honorees were: Prof. Kim Sook-he, Former Minister of Education, Prof. Shin Seung-Il, Prof. Park Sang-Dai, former Chairman of Korea’s Planning and Support Committee for IVI, as well as Swedish and Indian ambassadors who were cited on behalf of their governments. The event also honored 14 organizations and individuals for their donations to the Institute, including Samsung Life Public Welfare Foundation, Kia Motors, and Rotary International (District 3640).
|Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), delivers a keynote speech entitled ‘IVI’s President and Future’ at the IVI 20th Anniversary Global Vaccine Forum.|
“On the occasion of IVI’s 20th anniversary, we express our deepest gratitude to donors, partners and other friends,” IVI Director General Dr. Jerome Kim said. “IVI, through its mission to discover, develop and deliver safe, effective and affordable vaccines, enables the world’s most vulnerable people to have full, productive lives by accelerating R&D for crucial vaccines with partners in Korea, across Asia, and around the world.”
Under this mandate, IVI has achieved a number of key successes, including two of the world’s first oral cholera vaccines, which the WHO calls a ‘game-changer’ in the fight against cholera. The cholera vaccines from Korea and India led to the creation of WHO’s global OCV stockpile for health emergencies, and more than 26 million doses have been deployed in over 18 countries worldwide. Notably, in October the vaccines prompted the WHO to launch ‘Ending Cholera—A Global Roadmap to 2030,’ an ambitious strategy aimed at reducing cholera deaths by 90 percent by 2030.
In his congratulatory video message, Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said “Founded to help bring important new vaccines to developing countries, IVI has lived up to its mission. We were delighted to work with IVI to see the oral cholera vaccine, a very important vaccine for epidemics that are occurring around the world… We now have vaccines that we are using around the world, which is saving children's lives. We are looking forward to working with IVI as they continue into the third decade of their existence.”
IVI has also developed a new typhoid vaccine that should protect young children from infection, and transferred the technology to SK Chemicals, a leading Korean vaccine manufacturer, and Indonesia’s PT Biopharma. The Korean vaccine is expected to be brought to market in several years with IVI’s support in clinical development.
Going forward, IVI is adding tuberculosis, Shigella, and Salmonella to its portfolio of vaccines under development, while continuously expanding collaboration with industry, government agencies and international organizations including the Korea Center for Disease Control & Prevention, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI). IVI will soon start collaborative research on tuberculosis with Prof. Rick Malley at Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School in the U.S.
While aiming to start development of the third vaccine candidate in a few years, the Institute has also been increasing vaccine delivery projects involving impact research in collaboration with partners including KOICA and Rotary International. When conditions permit, IVI also intends to resume vaccine aid for North Korean children to build upon its past projects.
|Key participants pose for a commemorative photo at the International Vaccine Institute’s 20th Anniversary Global Vaccine Forum.|
“Korea’s vision, extraordinary leadership and commitment to global health, which has continued since IVI’s founding, deserve better recognition by the international community,” Dr. Jerome Kim said. “As we move to the next phase of development, we look forward to our continued partnerships with Korea and around the world to generate bigger impact in global public health in the years to come.”
IVI was initiated in the early 1990s, when leaders of 77 countries adopted a declaration calling for concerted efforts to promote children's health at the World Summit on Children at the United Nations in 1990. With its pledges to repay aid it received in the past and to develop its biotech and vaccine industries, Korea was selected by UNDP in 1994 after an international search for a host country. The Institute officially opened as an independent international organization in October 1997.
Currently, 35 countries and WHO are signatories to the IVI’s Establishment Agreement. IVI is supported by many donors from both the private and public sectors. Major donors include: the governments of Korea and Sweden and the Gates Foundation and other international philanthropies. They are joined by countless private companies and citizens in Korea. India recently joined Korea and Sweden to become a financial contributing signatory country in August 2017.
About International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established in 1997, IVI operates as an independent international organization under a treaty signed by 35 countries and the World Health Organization. The Institute conducts research in more than 20 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against enteric and diarrheal infections, Japanese encephalitis, MERS-CoV, and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines at its headquarters in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, please visit http://www.ivi.int.
Tae Kyung Byun
Public Awareness/Advocacy Officer, IVI
Phone: +82-2-872-2801 (Ext. 159)