New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under the Department of Health Research and the Department of Health and Family Welfare of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), South Korea to collaborate on vaccine research and development.
With a long history of scientific collaboration with IVI, India officially became a signatory to the treaty of the Seoul-based international organization in 2012. IVI has 35 signatory countries. With this partnership, India is committing an annual contribution of US $5,00,000 to IVI and joins Sweden and South Korea as financially contributing signatories to IVI.
The IVI has been partnering with Indian vaccine manufacturers, research institutes, government, and public health agencies on vaccine development, research, and training. One of the most successful collaborations was with Shantha Biotech on the development of Shanchol, the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine. The vaccine was licensed in India in 2009 and WHO-prequalified in 2011. The IVI successfully collaborated with health authorities in Odisha State to introduce the oral cholera vaccine for the first time in India in 2011. In addition, IVI has collaborated with the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata on research and training projects, including the establishment of a vaccine evaluation lab at NICED.
The MOU was signed between Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General of ICMR & Secretary, Department of Health Research; Mr Manoj Jhalani, Additional Secretary & Managing Director, National Health Mission and Dr Jerome H. Kim, Director General of International Vaccine Institute (IVI), South Korea.