SK bioscience has signed an agreement with vaccines and biologics research and development organisation Hilleman Laboratories Singapore for the co-development of a second-generation vaccine candidate against the Ebola-Zaire virus.

The companies will partner to develop an affordable vaccine to bolster manufacturing output and boost the thermostability of the product.

This approach will increase the supply of and access to the Ebola vaccine across the globe.

SK bioscience and Hilleman will acquire capabilities and knowledge for using the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vector technology platform to develop vaccines for treating viral infectious diseases.

SK bioscience CEO Jaeyong Ahn stated: “Developing a vaccine to prevent viruses causing diseases with a high fatality rate, such as Ebola-Zaire, is an essential task for us to protect humanity.

“By co-operating with Hilleman Laboratories for a successful development of the second-generation Zaire Ebolavirus vaccine, we will contribute to overcoming the Ebola-Zaire disease burden and expand our cooperation with global companies and institutions.”

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In October 2022, the parties entered a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop new vaccines and technology platforms.

The alliance agreed to use the manufacturing expertise of SK bioscience and Hilleman for end-to-end vaccine studies and vaccine platform development. 

Hilleman Laboratories CEO Dr Raman Rao stated: “Developing vaccines that are more affordable and accessible is core to our mission.

“Our collaboration with SK biosciences on such an impactful vaccine programme will allow us to create positive outcomes for global public health, especially in affected regions of Central and Western Africa.”

In August 2023 SK Bioscience collaborated with Vaxxas for the development of a typhoid conjugate vaccine that can be delivered using a needle-free patch.