March 29, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifted the landscape of vaccine discovery and development. The scientific community demonstrated an extraordinary ability to innovate and collaborate, developing new vaccines within a year of identifying a new pathogen, new drugs and monoclonal antibodies within months, and new molecular diagnostics in a matter of weeks.
Where we faced hurdles in getting the world’s population protected against COVID-19 was appropriately scaling up manufacturing and getting these new innovative products to every country in the world in an equitable manner.
Following the successful launch of the global mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in South Africa last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with the government of the Republic of Korea to establish a new global biomanufacturing training hub in Korea. This decision reflects the progress and potential of the K-vaccine initiative, a bold move to increase national capacity in biomanufacturing while making a sustainable and meaningful impact to global health security.
The new training hub aims to transfer this investment in self-sufficiency beyond borders, engaging biomanufacturing staff from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) interested in developing their capacity and producing biologicals including vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and more.
The WHO Academy is working with Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) to develop a robust curriculum on general biomanufacturing, and IVI was selected by MOHW to operate the training program, the 2022 Global Bio-Intensive Training Courses. These trainings are the first of their kind supported by the Korean government, and IVI will provide technical and hands-on training for 450 professionals from LMICs and Korea to develop skillsets across development and production processes, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, biosafety, and good manufacturing practice requirements.
As an international organization based in Seoul, Korea dedicated to the discovery, development, and delivery of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health, IVI is well suited to implement this practical biomanufacturing curriculum. Capacity-building, technology transfer, and technical assistance to vaccine manufacturers are at the core of IVI’s work and how it’s done, along with a commitment to vaccine sustainability and self-sufficiency.