– Institute jointly conducts phase 1/2a clinical trial of GeneOne Life Science’s GLS-5300 DNA MERS vaccine
– IVI in search of additional promising candidate vaccines among developers worldwide, with support from Samsung Life Public Welfare Foundation
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) said on September 11 that a phase 1/2a clinical trial of Korea-based GeneOne Life Science’s MERS vaccine is currently under way; as the organization is accelerating the development of vaccines against MERS in collaboration with Korean and foreign vaccine developers.
The clinical trial is being conducted in Korea by GeneOne with support from and in collaboration with IVI, and the first subject was recently dosed with the vaccine. IVI is funding the entire clinical trial with a donation from the Samsung Life Public Welfare Foundation to support the development of a MERS vaccine.
Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI said, “IVI will continue close collaboration with GeneOne and other partners to complete the clinical trial at the earliest date possible with the intent of making a MERS vaccine available in order to contribute to curbing a future MERS epidemic (in Korea and worldwide).”
Vaccine companies tend to be less interested in development of vaccines against MERS due to lack of profitability because cases are rare. Therefore, without support from government or philanthropic organizations, clinical study and commercialization can be significantly delayed. IVI, an international organization dedicated to developing vaccines for Global Health, is working with the Samsung Foundation to identify a second MERS vaccine for testing in order to accelerate vaccine development for this condition.
IVI has hosted several meetings on MERS vaccine development, most recently this summer in collaboration with WHO. MERS was chosen as a target for vaccine development by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and IVI hopes that this broad support for MERS vaccine development will enable important vaccine technology to be fielded quickly.
The first MERS case in three years was recently reported in Korea, but there remains no licensed vaccine or treatment against the disease. Since it was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, MERS has infected 2248 people and caused 798 MERS-associated deaths worldwide as of end-August, according to the World Health Organization.
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 30 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against diarrheal infections, bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, as well as Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines at its headquarters in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, please visit www.ivi.int.
Head of Communications, IVI
Phone: +82-2-881-1309 (Dir)