24 May 2023 | Wednesday | News
(From left) Dr. John Arne Røttingen, Ambassador for Global Health, Jaeyong Ahn, CEO of SK bioscience, Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director General of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and Ong Ye Kung, the Minister for Health in Singapore at the Regionalized Vaccine Manufacturing Collaborative(RVMC)’s discussion session in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 22, 2023.
SK bioscience, a global innovative vaccine and biotech company committed to promoting human health from prevention to cure, announced that the company's CEO, Jaeyong Ahn presented methods for equitable access of vaccine in the world at the Regionalized Vaccine Manufacturing Collaborative (RVMC) Side Event as a panel representing private companies.
The RVMC is a global initiative launched at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in May 2022 to address inequality in vaccine distribution between few rich countries and low- and middle-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's RVMC was held in line with the 76th World Health Assembly week (May 21~30, 2023).
Under the title 'National and Regional Health Security from mRNA to a Sustainable Regional Manufacturing Framework', representatives of international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), and African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and heads of the public health administrations, including a Minister of Health in South Africa, and a Minister of Health in the Singapore, attended the event.
CEO Jaeyong Ahn introduced the company's key growth strategy, the 'Glocalization' project and prerequisite conditions for achieving the vision of the RVMC during the discussion session.
Mr. Ahn explained the background of the glocalization project. SK bioscience came up with a regional-based vaccine hub as a business model during the COVID-19 pandemic when inequality in COVID-19 vaccine distribution was exposed.
The glocalization project is one of SK bioscience's core future business strategies which transfers vaccine R&D and manufacturing capabilities to the low- and middle- income countries to set up vaccine infrastructures qualifying the need in each region. Currently, SK bioscience is preparing to establish the regional vaccine hubs in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
Mr. Ahn said that the project is promoted through partnerships with governments and local companies that can supply vaccines to neighboring countries among regions with lack of vaccine infrastructures. He highlighted that manufacturing capacity, process development platform, technology and expertise in vaccine production will be transferred to strengthen self-competitiveness and resolve inequality in vaccine distribution in low- and middle- income countries.
Mr. Ahn pointed out a definition of the region, harmonization of regulatory practices in each country, supporting and commitment of global initiatives through advance purchase system and funding, and joint efforts to secure an international supply chain eco system should be established to achieve the vision of the RVMC.
Lastly, Mr. Ahn emphasized that the key factor ultimately lines in the commitment of players with both technological and business prowess, so reasonable incentives should be provided to induce the commitment of the players.