July 20, 2022 -- Biotech giant Moderna and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), a nonprofit inter-governmental organization headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on research and development for messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.
"We are proud to establish a partnership for vaccine research and development with IVI to advance mRNA vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases," said Dr. Paul Burton, PhD, Moderna's chief medical officer, in a statement. "In March 2022, we announced our commitment to expand our global public health portfolio to 15 vaccine programs targeting priority pathogens that threaten global health, advancing these vaccines into clinical studies by 2025. Collaboration is a vital part in helping to achieve this vision."
IVI said its priority disease areas include chikungunya, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, group A streptococcus (strep), hepatitis E, human papillomavirus (HPV), and COVID-19, as well as global health issues such as antimicrobial resistance. The organization's commitment is to "prioritizing poverty-associated infectious diseases" which "led to the world's first affordable oral cholera vaccine and a new-generation typhoid conjugate vaccine."
Since the start of the pandemic, mRNA vaccines like those from Moderna and Pfizer have received a lot of attention. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for Novavax's protein-based COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older. The Novavax vaccine has an adjuvant, an immune stimulant designed to get a better immune response.