IVI commemorates 20th Anniversary
Milestones in MERS Vaccine Research and Development
IVI hosts International MERS-CoV Symposium, convening top scientists and experts in public health, infectious diseases and vaccine development
IVI to embark on MERS vaccine development project with funding from Samsung
September 10, 2015, Seoul, Republic of Korea – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI), the Seoul-based international organization, hosts the “2015 Shinil-IVI Global Vaccine Forum: International MERS-CoV Symposium” at the Novotel Ambassador Gangnam in Seoul today. The institute also announced it will launch initiatives to develop vaccines against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), following the September 2nd announcement made by Samsung Medical Center that it would donate 41 billion Korean won (34 million USD) to IVI over the next five years to find a MERS vaccine.
“As an international organization dedicated to discovering, developing and delivering vaccines for global public health, we are very excited to start work on MERS, a disease that has become a concern in South Korea and worldwide,” said Dr. Jerome Kim, IVI’s Director General, “Gathering the world’s preeminent scientists and experts on MERS at the symposium and especially the Samsung funding are significant boosts in global efforts to develop vaccines against MERS.”
MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). First detected in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, it has been reported in several countries, causing 1,478 cases and 516 deaths globally, including a recent major outbreak in South Korea with 185 cases and 36 deaths. Currently there is no vaccine or antiretroviral treatment for MERS-CoV infection.
With support from Samsung, IVI will lead an international collaboration to advance the development of MERS vaccines as quickly and safely as possible. IVI is in the process of identifying the most promising vaccine candidates and is under discussion with groups that have vaccines ready for human testing and that have data from animal studies suggesting the vaccine may protect against MERS disease.
Sponsored by Shinil and the Korea Support Committee for IVI (KSC), the one-day symposium convenes leading scientists and experts in public health, infectious diseases and vaccine development from Korea, China, Europe, the Middle East and the United States where they will present the latest translational and clinical research and discuss opportunities for the development of MERS-CoV countermeasures, particularly vaccines.
Speakers include the Deputy Minister of Health of Saudi Arabia and representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, World Health Organization, Erasmus Medical Center of the Netherlands, Seoul National University, Fudan University, Institut Pasteur Korea, Inovio, GeneOne, Regeneron, and Novovax. His Excellency Mark W. Lippert, the U.S Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, will give the keynote speech.
“I would like to thank all those who made the symposium possible, including our sponsors, Shinil and KSC,” said Dr. Kim, “I particularly would like to express my deep gratitude to Samsung for their very generous contribution and confidence in IVI. With their support, we will harness the best resources and capabilities in Korea and internationally to accelerate the development of new, safe and effective MERS vaccines.”
Tae Kyung Byun
Public Awareness/Advocacy Officer, IVI
Phone: +82-2-872-2801 (Ext. 159)