WHO Grants Prequalification of Sabin-IPV Polio Vaccine

LG Chem Eupolio is a Sabin-Inactivated Polio Vaccine 
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South Korea (Precision Vaccinations News)

South Korean-based biotechnology company announced that its Sabin-Inactivated Polio Vaccine (Sabin-IPV) Eupolio™ is the first to receive the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification be supplied globally.

LG Chem stated in a press release, ‘Eupolio demonstrated excellent phase III results in 2019, inducing high antibody titers against both wild-type and Sabin polioviruses, which will also protect against circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV) that make up the majority of polio cases in recent years.’

The main advantage of using attenuated Sabin poliovirus strains in IPV production is that there is a lower biosafety risk than wild-type polioviruses used to manufacture conventional IPVs, which has the potential to pose a biosafety hazard in case they escape from the manufacturing facility.

LG Chem initiated the development of Eupolio in 2014 and invested in constructing a state of the art WHO Global Action Plan III compliant manufacturing facility in Osong, Korea. 

Despite global efforts to eradicate poliovirus, more cases are being reported, with its international spread declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO Director-General since 2014. The situation has been exacerbated by a global shortage of IPV, where many countries have not introduced IPV in their routine immunization programs as recommended by WHO, said the company.

“LG Chem will facilitate the polio endgame by delivering the much-needed doses to infants in need of safe and effective polio vaccines,” said Ji-woong Son, Head of Life Sciences at LG Chem, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts. “We will continue to contribute to improving global health by ensuring global accessibility of such essential vaccines.”

The development of Eupolio was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with an extended partnership to develop a hexavalent combination vaccine, with total awarded grants amounting to $57.6 million.

LG Chem Life Sciences is a business division within LG Chem, engaged in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing pharmaceutical products globally.

The U.S. CDC says the inactivated polio vaccine is the only polio vaccine that has been given in the USA since 2000. Oral polio vaccine (OPV) is used in other countries. 

The IPV is given by a shot in the arm or leg, depending on the person’s age. The CDC recommends that children get four doses of polio vaccine. Most children (99 out of 100) who get all the recommended doses of the polio vaccine will be protected from polio.

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling and potentially deadly disease. It is caused by poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis, says the CDC.

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