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IVI and Lemonex sign MOU to join forces on vaccine development

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced on November 10 it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Lemonex, a company specializing in RNA gene therapy development, and agreed to seek cooperation in research and development. IVI and Lemonex have agreed to join forces to introduce DegradaBALL® drug delivery technology to the development of infectious disease vaccines and advance vaccine development by using IVI’s extensive expertise in all areas of vaccine development.

Under the MOU, Lemonex and IVI will seek to contribute to global public health through research and development cooperation with the view to develop vaccines that respond to infectious viruses and cater to the needs of developing countries, and through joint projects to achieve common goals.

The two organizations plan to utilize Lemonex’s expertise in vaccine development and drug delivery platform, and rapidly develop a safe and effective mRNA vaccine through mutual cooperation by using IVI’s robust experience in clinical development and epidemiology.

We are proud to have established a vaccine R&D partnership with IVI to develop an mRNA vaccine. People have had concern over potential adverse effects caused by the existing drug delivery systems and vaccine supply shortages were revealed in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this situation, we will focus on developing mRNA vaccines adopting our drug delivery platform, DegradaBALL®, which has addressed problems, and will contribute to the speedy development of a vaccine in response to the next pandemic.”

Cheolhee Won, CEO of Lemonex

LEM-mR203, which is being developed by Lemonex, is an mRNA vaccine candidate against Covid-19. The mRNA vaccine uses DegradaBALL®, a next-generation drug delivery platform technology developed by Lemonex, in lieu of the existing lipid nanoparticles (LNP).

The mRNA vaccine adopting DegradaBALL® is designed to minimizes systemic side effects by increasing the drug residual rate at the administration site compared to the lipid nanoparticle delivery system, and improve the stability of mRNA to induce long-term mRNA expression. However, since it does not require a special process, it reportedly has considerable competitive advantages in terms of production facilities and cost

“Innovations in mRNA technology enabled the world to develop vaccines against COVID-19 at an unprecedented speed. IVI will collaborate with Lemonex to develop a next-generation mRNA vaccine using Lemonex’s novel platform technology in order to increase global supply of innovative vaccines against infectious diseases and improve vaccine equity for the world,” said Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of IVI.

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