IVI conducts 2nd Introductory Course for Biologics Development and Manufacturing for 235 trainees from 47 LMICs

  • 2-week training focuses on technology transfer, talent development, facility management, and aseptic processing
  • Part of the Korean MOHW’s Global Training Hub for Biomanufacturing, the program aims to strengthen local bio production capabilities in LMICs to address vaccine inequity and strengthen pandemic preparedness
The 2023 Introductory Course for Biologics Development and Manufacturing kicked off on June 19 at the Seoul National University Shiheung Campus in Gyeonggi Province on June 19. Credit: IVI

June 19, 2023, SEOUL, Republic of Korea – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is conducting the 2023 Introductory Course for Biologics Development and Manufacturing for bio-R&D and production personnel from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The course, the second of its kind, is hosted by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and organized by IVI to support LMICs in strengthening their biomanufacturing and infectious disease response capabilities by training human resources and to address global vaccine inequity. The course started with a kickoff ceremony at Seoul National University Siheung Campus in Gyeonggi Province on June 19 and will conclude on June 30.

235 trainees are participating in the course, including 205 from 47 LMICs and 30 from Korea, focusing on the theme: Technology transfer, talent development and facility management, and aseptic processing. The trainees are early-career professionals with 6 years or less of experience in private companies in the vaccines and therapeutics field, as well as participants from government and public organizations in LMICs including those participating in the mRNA technology transfer program led by WHO and the COVAX Facility. The course is offered free of charge (excluding travel expenses) with MOHW’s support. The 30 Korean trainees include officials from industry and students from universities who seek to broaden their professional skills, knowledge, and global networking experience.

The course covers the full cycle of vaccine research and development, production, and use, including immunology, vaccine technology, product development, preclinical and clinical development, quality control, intellectual property, product licensing, and vaccination, and features special lectures and case studies. The course is taught by a faculty team of more than 40 experts from over 15 organizations around the world, including IVI, WHO, CEPI, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s National Institute of Health, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom.

The course was prefaced by a week-long pre-training followed by the two-week offline training. This also includes a ‘Mini Convention’ for networking with Korean bio companies and field trips to leading bio companies and institutions in the country. As in the previous course last year, IVI aims to ensure that by the end of the training, all trainees will have mastered the basic and essential theories and gained the practical knowledge and skills necessary to operate a biomanufacturing facility.

The course is part of the Global Training Hub for Biomanufacturing (GTH-B) that IVI has been implementing in collaboration with MOHW since last year. In February 2022, IVI was designated by MOHW as the operator of the ‘Global Bio Intensive Training Courses,’ a workforce training program supported by the Korean government to address global vaccine inequity and strengthen pandemic preparedness. At the time, Korea was designated by WHO as the world’s only GTH-B tasked with providing training to help LMICs sustainably produce their own vaccine and biologicals.

Facing significant inequalities in access to vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, LMICs have been stepping up efforts to establish a biopharmaceutical manufacturing base in their countries. Last year, WHO designated South Africa as an mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub to promote local production of vaccines in LMICs. However, efforts to build this manufacturing capacity, whether through bilateral technology transfer or local R&D, have been hampered by the lack of a trained workforce. To help countries overcome these challenges, MOHW established the GTH-B with the support of WHO and the WHO Academy.

In his congratulatory remarks, Seung-hyun Hwang, Director General of the Global Vaccine Hub Office at MOHW said, “I hope this training will contribute to improving vaccines and biopharmaceuticals manufacturing capacities in LMICs.” He added, “In the second year of the GTH-B initiative, Korea will spare no effort to build infrastructure such as the Global Bio Campus, expand practical training, and cooperate with international organizations to foster a sustainable global vaccine manufacturing workforce.”

Strengthening vaccine-related capacities in LMICs is a core part of IVI’s mission. As the only international organization dedicated to the discovery, development, and delivery of vaccines for global health, IVI has robust experience and capabilities to provide quality training in vaccine R&D, technology transfer, biomanufacturing and capacity building. Since 2000, IVI has organized the IVI International Vaccinology Course annually to train a total of more than 3,000 professionals worldwide.

Korea has globally competitive bio companies with excellent manufacturing capabilities in addition to a strong training infrastructure and a government committed to developing the nation’s bio industry while supporting LMICs. Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI, said, ”Through the GTH-B project, we are synergizing Korea’s excellent bioindustry infrastructure with IVI’s demonstrated capabilities to provide high-quality biomanufacturing training. To help increase local production of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals in LMICs and address the global vaccine access gap, IVI will continue to collaborate with MOHW, WHO, and Korean and global industry partners.”

Last year, IVI trained a total of 325 people through the first Introductory Course for Biologics Development and Manufacturingand Introductory Course for Standard Practice (GxP). The institute also conducted three overseas on-site training sessions, including one in Bangladesh and two in South Africa. Additionally, IVI just completed GTH-B on-site consulting in Kenya in late May of this year and will conduct the second Introductory Course for Standard Practice this fall.

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About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a non-profit international organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health.

IVI’s current portfolio includes vaccines at all stages of pre-clinical and clinical development for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, such as cholera, typhoid, chikungunya, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, hepatitis E, HPV, COVID-19, and more. IVI developed the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine, pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO), and developed a new-generation typhoid conjugate vaccine that is currently under assessment for WHO PQ.

IVI is headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea with a Europe Regional Office in Sweden and Collaborating Centers in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. 39 countries and the WHO are members of IVI, and the governments of the Republic of Korea, Sweden, India, Finland, and Thailand provide state funding. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int.