Africa CDC and SK bioscience Collaboration: Advancing Vaccine Manufacturing

SK bioscience, an innovative vaccine and biotech company committed to promoting human health from prevention to cure, announced that H.E Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director General of Africa CDC visited SK bioscience headquarters on November 3 to discuss collaboration with the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM).

Dr. Kaseya was appointed as the Director General of Africa CDC in February 2023. Currently, he is visiting partners to foster partnerships and closer collaboration on African public health matters, with a particular focus on local manufacturing.  

The PAVM, established by the African Union (AU) in 2021, aims to achieve an ambitious goal. It seeks to enable the African vaccine manufacturing industry to produce, and supply over 60 percent of the total vaccine doses required on the continent by 2040. This represents a significant increase from the current level, which is less than 1 percent. There are also interim goals of reaching 10 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

Africa CDC plans to secure a vaccine portfolio to respond to various diseases including tuberculosis, hepatitis B, HIV, malaria, Ebola, and unknown infectious diseases (Disease X). This will be achieved through the formation of strategic partnerships with global companies and the establishment of vaccine research and development (R&D) and manufacturing infrastructures, including local plants and cold chain logistics.

SK bioscience introduced the ‘Glocalization Project,’ a mid to long term core strategy that involves transferring R&D and manufacturing capabilities to countries with insufficient vaccine infrastructure to support the PAVM.

In July, SK bioscience signed an agreement with the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), a state pharmaceutical enterprise in Thailand, to strengthen the vaccine infrastructure. In September, they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Republic of Serbia to establish a strategic partnership in vaccine development and manufacturing.

After the discussion session, Dr. Kaseya and the visiting members toured SK bioscience’s R&D Center to observe the know-hows in vaccine development.

H.E Dr. Jean Kaseya, Director General of Africa CDC said, “I had an opportunity to learn about SK bioscience’s Glocalization Project at the Regionalized Vaccine Manufacturing Collaborative, hosted in Geneva last May. Today’s visit holds great significances as it allows us to delve deeper into the Glocalization Project and tour the R&D facility. Africa’s New Public Health Order calls to expand manufacturing of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. We’re actively seeking partnerships, particularly in the area of R&D to help us achieve the PAVM’s ambitious goals.”

Jaeyong Ahn, CEO of SK bioscience said, “The Glocalization Project is an innovative business model that goes beyond merely establishing local plants. It addresses the inequality of vaccine supply and enables a rapid response to new pandemics. Through collaboration with governments, institutions, and companies, we aim to lead efforts in preventing future pandemics.”