|LG Science Park in Gayang-dong, Seoul.|
LG Chem said Monday that it has received a $33.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a sextuple influenza vaccine. The grant comes after the company got $19.5 million for developing a polio vaccine.
LG Chem is developing a sextuple vaccine that can prevent six diseases -- diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, meningitis, and poliomyelitis -- which cause high mortality in infants. The company plans to resolve such global infant health problems with the new vaccine.
As combined vaccines take into consideration the immunological interferences between the vaccine stock solutions, it requires a higher level of research and development capacity for additional indications.
If LG Chem succeeds in commercializing the sextuple combination vaccine, it will significantly improve vaccination rates worldwide as there are no vaccines certified by the World Health Organization’s Pre-Qualification system.
The company is preparing for phase 2 clinical trials for the vaccine and plans to supply vaccines to the world through UNICEF from 2023. The company also plans to use the latest grant to expand its overseas clinical trials and vaccine production facilities.
“Many young infants around the world are still exposed to various infectious diseases as they have missed their vaccination period,” said Son Jee-woong, head of LG Chem's Life Science Business Division. “We will contribute to solving the global public health problem by commercializing a sextuple combination vaccine that is easy to inoculate thanks to the support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.