SEOUL, South Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced on November 10th 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.
According to 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 extensive experience in clinical development and epidemiology.
Cheolhee Won, CEO of Lemonex, said, “We are proud to have established a vaccine R&D partnership with IVI to develop an mRNA vaccine. As people have had concern over potential adverse effects caused by the existing drug delivery systems and vaccine supply shortages revealed in the early stage of the 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.”
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.
About Lemonex Inc.
As a global research-oriented pharmaceutical company, Lemonex is developing innovative next-generation drug delivery technology and biosensor technology. Based on these, the company is developing immuno-oncology drugs and gene therapies. DegradaBALL®, a modular next-generation drug delivery technology is Lemonex’s original technology, which enables in vivo delivery by loading various new drug candidates inside particles, and which is optimized for the development of gene therapies and immuno-oncology drugs. Lemonex is developing siRNA gene therapy, mRNA vaccine, and dual-acting RNA (dual-acting RNA) immunotherapy by applying the DegradaBALL® drug delivery platform. The company is developing drug delivery platform technology by focusing on speedy development and supply of infectious disease vaccines. For more information, visit www.lemonexbio.com
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a non-profit international organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme with a mission to discover, develop, and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global health.
IVI’s current portfolio includes vaccines at all stages of pre-clinical and clinical development for infectious diseases that disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, such as cholera, typhoid, chikungunya, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, hepatitis E, HPV, COVID-19, and more. IVI developed the world’s first low-cost oral cholera vaccine, pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO), and developed a new-generation typhoid conjugate vaccine that is currently under assessment for WHO PQ.
IVI is headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea with a Europe Regional Office in Sweden and Collaborating Centers in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. 39 countries and the WHO are members of IVI, and the governments of the Republic of Korea, Sweden, India, and Finland provide state funding. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int.