An innovative oral vaccine that can be used to prevent and control cholera around the world has received a stamp of approval from the World Health Organization (WHO), a Seoul-based international health research institute said Friday.
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) said its jointly developed Shanchol drug has received a formal prequalification from the WHO.
It said the certification by the United Nations (UN) organization means that the vaccine meets globally acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy. It also allows the vaccine to be procured by UN and other international agencies for use in countries around the world.
The vaccine is to be produced by Shantha Biotechnics, an affiliate of the Sanofi Group, a global healthcare provider.
"A WHO prequalification eliminates the need for country-level market authorization in some places," the IVI said, adding the designation can speed up adoption of the vaccine.
“I am immensely pleased by the news that Shanchol, a vaccine enabled by IVI, received WHO prequalification,” said IVI chief Christian Loucq. He added that WHO's approval shows that public-private partnerships - such as those among IVI, Shantha and Sanofi - are essential for successful vaccine development.
The Seoul-based institute, meanwhile, said that the vaccine represents its latest achievement in developing and introducing safe and effective medicine to protect people in poor countries from potentially deadly diseases.
Established in 1997 under an initiative of the United Nations Development Program, the IVI now operates as an independent organization under a treaty signed by 40 countries.