Singapore, 27 October 2022: SK bioscience, a global innovative vaccine and biotech company committed to promoting human health from prevention to cure across the globe, and Hilleman Laboratories, a vaccines and biologics research and development organization committed to improving vaccine accessibility and affordability for low- and middle-income countries, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a strategic partnership to co-develop new vaccine candidates and technology platforms.
Under the agreement, SK bioscience and Hilleman Laboratories will collaborate on end-to-end vaccine research and early-stage development including vaccine platform development, leveraging the development and manufacturing capabilities of both parties, including Hilleman's vaccine and biologics development and manufacturing hub in Singapore, and SK's upcoming Research and Process Development (R&PD) Center in Songdo as well as L-HOUSE, its vaccine manufacturing facility in Andong, South Korea. Both companies are also committed to capacity and capability building in global vaccine expertise across the entire value chain, which is central for pandemic preparedness and response.
Mr. Jaeyong Ahn, CEO of SK bioscience, said, "The world-leading institutions and companies continue to have a keen interest in and support SK bioscience, recognizing SK bioscience's advanced technology. We will strengthen our position globally as leading bio company based on the partnership with global network including Hilleman Laboratories."
Dr. Raman Rao, CEO of Hilleman Laboratories, said, "Vaccines are the first line of defense against infectious diseases but LMICs have historically faced difficulties in vaccine accessibility, with significant economic burden and on health metrics. We are excited to collaborate with SK bioscience to support the development of new vaccine platforms to fulfil our mission to accelerate broad access to vaccines for populations in LMICs."
Vaccines save millions of lives every year and prevent 3.5 to 5 million1 deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) targeted 70%2 global vaccination coverage by mid-2022. However, only 58 of the 1943 member states reached this target in June 2022. Vaccination coverage has plateaued since 2020 and a continued, concerted push is crucial to deliver vaccines to populations in LMICs.
The MoU signing ceremony was held at Grand Walkerhill Seoul.
Mr Jaeyong Ahn, CEO of SK bioscience, and Dr Raman Rao, CEO of Hilleman Laboratories, attended the signing ceremony at Grand Walkerhill Seoul, and shared on a common vision for cooperative efforts in R&D and manufacturing of vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.
1 Vaccines and immunization. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.who.int/health-topics/vaccines-and-immunization#tab=tab_1
2 Vaccine equity. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.who.int/campaigns/vaccine-equity
3 Vaccine equity. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.who.int/campaigns/vaccine-equity
Hilleman Laboratories was established in 2009 as a joint venture between Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC (MSD), a global research-driven pharmaceutical company and Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to human and animal health. Hilleman Laboratories' mission is to develop affordable vaccines and biologics against infectious diseases that affect low- and middle-income countries.
The company's expertise in end-to-end product development is targeted at creating novel vaccines and biologics in areas of high unmet need as well as adapting existing vaccines and biologics with more effective delivery tools to meet challenging environments in developing countries. Hilleman Laboratories also seeks to collaborate with local, regional, and global partners and stakeholders, including policymakers and governments, to facilitate wider, affordable access to life-saving vaccines and biologics.
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Sandpiper Communications, representing Hilleman Laboratories(firstname.lastname@example.org)
SK bioscience is a global innovative vaccine and biotech company, standing committed to global pandemic preparedness in vaccine development and manufacturing to create more equitable access to vaccines. In leveraging strengths on cutting-edge vaccine development technologies, SK bioscience has been dedicated to promoting human health from prevention to cure across the globe. Under collaborations of domestic and international governments, regulatory agencies, healthcare providers, doctors and medical experts, SK bioscience has firmly established globally certified R&D and manufacturing technologies. All of the SK colleagues are passionately committed to providing high-quality vaccines to those who need them and better public healthcare solutions.
For further information, please visit: https://www.skbioscience.co.kr/en/main
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