SK bioscience’s typhoid conjugate vaccine wins WHO prequalification certification

SK bioscience Co., a pharmaceutical affiliate under South Korea's SK Group, said Friday its typhoid conjugate vaccine has obtained prequalification (PQ) certification from the World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine, named SKYTyphoid, was jointly developed by the South Korean company and the International Vaccine Institute, with financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to SK bioscience. SKYTyphoid is SK bioscience's fourth vaccine product to receive PQ certification from the WHO, following its two influenza vaccines and varicella vaccine. With the WHO-PQ, the company is now eligible to bid for public procurement projects of organizations under the United Nations, such as the United Nations Children's Fund, as the certification means the vaccine has been certified for safety and efficacy under strict evaluation on manufacturing process, quality and clinical trial results by the WHO. The biotech company said it plans to target global markets with SKYTyphoid, focusing o n public procurement projects and major typhoid-endemic countries in particular. There are between 11 to 20 million typhoid fever cases reported worldwide each year, resulting in approximately 120,000 to 160,000 deaths, the company said, citing WHO data. "We are pleased that our global collaboration to address the global vaccine supply imbalance and improve public health has been recognized by the WHO PQ certification," Ahn Jae-yong, SK bioscience CEO, said, adding the company will work to rapidly supply its vaccine to typhoid-affected countries.