Board of Trustees group photo
24 May 2019, SEOUL, Korea — The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) held its first face-to-face meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT) for 2019 in Seoul, Korea on May 23-24. In addition to reviewing IVI’s achievements and activities of the past year, the Board discussed and delineated this year’s plans for further accelerating IVI’s growing impact on global health.
The meeting brought together 16 members or designees of the Board from around the globe, including Board Chairman Mr. George Bickerstaff, the Managing Director of M.M. Dillon & Co.; Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI; and representatives from IVI’s signatory countries. The Board also welcomed three new members:
- Dr. Catharina Maijgren Steffensson, representing Sweden on the BOT, is currently the Associate Director/Medical Director Nordics at Sarepta Therapeutics. She has a solid background in gene therapy & HIV research and has previously worked at the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and Gilead.
- Prof. Ziad Ahmed A. Memish, is currently a Professor at the College of Medicine, AlFaisal University; Senior Consultant, Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Research Department at Prince Mohamed Bin Abdulaziz Hospital in Saudi Arabia, and Adjunct Professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University in the U.S. He has served as the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, with the Saudi Ministry of Health, and served on many national, regional and international boards including: Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Member of the Executive Board of WHO and the Executive Council of International Society of Infectious Diseases.
- Dr. Anthony Ford-Hutchinson is currently a Board Member or Scientific Advisor to multiple startup companies, including the position of CSO of Rbonova Inc, as well as not for profit organizations, the Hepatitis B Foundation, SAGE Bionetworks, the Wellcome Trust, CARB-X and CEPI. He has over 40 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, including an extensive tenure at Merck & Co with positions including Executive Vice President of Basic Research and Senior Vice President of Vaccine R&D.
Board Chairman Mr. George Bickerstaff introduces new board members to the staff
“The new board members’ passion for and commitment to improving the lives of people suffering from diseases and contributing to global health, health research, and capacity building in developing countries make them a valuable addition to the BOT,” Mr. Bickerstaff said. “IVI stands to benefit greatly from their extensive experience and expertise in health and science.”
As part of IVI’s developments and achievements over the past year, the members reviewed highlights of the growing impact of IVI’s oral cholera vaccine, the expanding development and support for clinical trials and studies of typhoid and MERS vaccines, and recent progress in programs as well as new grants and initiatives.
The world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine continues to play a pivotal role in the fight against the disease. Since 2013, more than 40 million doses of the vaccine were already deployed in over 20 countries worldwide from the WHO stockpile and other channels, and demand for OCV has been increasing steadily. In order to accelerate the use of OCV where it is most needed, IVI, in collaboration with KOICA and the Mozambican Ministry of Health, vaccinated more than 190,000 people at risk of cholera in 2018; with more campaigns being planned, as the Institute continued to contribute to Ending Cholera – A Global Roadmap to 2030.
The IVI Typhoid Program continues its progress in the clinical development of Vi-DT typhoid conjugate vaccine in an exemplary manner; namely the Phase II clinical trials of Vi-DT with SK bioscience of Korea and BioFarma of Indonesia. These efforts aim to complete clinical development, achieving licensure and ultimately WHO prequalification of the vaccine by 2022, to bring additional TCV to the global health market.
The Phase I/IIa clinical trial of GeneOne Life Science’s MERS DNA vaccine in South Korea started last year and is ongoing. Work on a novel TB conjugate vaccine with Prof. Rick Malley and his team at Harvard Medical School continues on track. With IVI’s core and project-funding pipeline diversifying, IVI has also started working on new diseases for global health, including Schistosomiasis, HPV, bivalent non-typhoidal Salmonella, Shigella, Adeno 55, and hepatitis A vaccines.
Board Chairman Mr. George Bickerstaff addresses the staff of IVI
More recently, IVI received several new grants, including a US$15.7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support phase III clinical trials of its new TCV; and a $3.2 million Gates grant to provide technical assistance support for clinical studies to measure the effectiveness of typhoid conjugate vaccine in West Africa. The IVI-led international CAPTURA consortium has received funding from the UK’s Fleming Fund to conduct a project to collect data on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across Asia.
Dr. Jerome Kim said, “IVI has already seen a number of exciting new developments this year, as we continue to build upon these and many other achievements and emerging opportunities.”