Shanchol™, a new oral cholera vaccine developed through the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), an international organization established by the United Nations and based in Seoul, Korea, recently received prequalification from the World Health Organization (WHO). Developed for use in developing countries to protect against life-threatening cholera, Shanchol™ is ready to use in a single-dose vial and is administered orally, which facilitates its implementation in large-scale immunization programs. Shanchol™ is produced by Shantha Biotechnics – part of the Sanofi group - in India where the vaccine has been licensed and sold since 2009. "I am immensely pleased by the news that Shanchol™, a vaccine enabled by IVI, received WHO prequalification," said Dr. Christian Loucq, IVI's new Director General. "This stamp of approval shows that public-private partnerships - such as those among IVI, Vabiotech, Shantha, and Sanofi – are essential for successful vaccine development, particularly in developing vaccines against neglected diseases of the poor like cholera." Certification by WHO of Shanchol™ represents a major milestone as it indicates that the vaccine meets WHO standards of quality, safety, and efficacy, and allows the vaccine to be procured by UN agencies and other international organizations for use in countries around the world. It also accelerates international use of the vaccine because WHO prequalification eliminates the need for country-level market authorization in some countries, which can take years to obtain. WHO prequalification of Shanchol™ is the latest achievement in IVI's mission to develop and introduce innovative, safe, and effective vaccines to protect vulnerable populations in poor countries against deadly diseases including cholera.
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