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LG Chem received a $33.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a 6-in-1 combination vaccine to prevent childhood diseases

11 March 2019 - LG Chem announced that it will receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a hexavalent vaccine to prevent six diseases ― diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type B, and polio.

“Many young children worldwide are still exposed to various kinds of infectious diseases because they miss inoculation schedules," said Son Jee-woong, head of the firm’s life sciences division.

LG Chem explained that, thus far, no such combination vaccine has been prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO). "We are preparing for a second phase clinical trial and planning to supply it to UNICEF and other organizations after 2023," the firm said. The 6-in-1 vaccine is anticipated to improve vaccination coverage globally.

This is the second grant the firm has received from the Gates Foundation. In 2017, it received USD $19,504,126 to develop Sabin inactivated poliovirus vaccine (sIPV). "The polio vaccine is currently in phase three of clinical trials and is scheduled to hit the market in 2021," the official said, adding that LG expects it will support global polio eradication.

LG Chem was the first Korean company to produce a genetically modified hepatitis B vaccine, Euvax, which has been supplied to more than 200 million infants globally through UNICEF. The firm also won a UNICEF contract for its pentavalent (5-in-1) vaccine, Eupenta, which has been used to immunize about 30 million infants between 2017 and 2019.

Excerpts from http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2019/03/133_265162.html

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