IVI, GeneOne Life Science join forces to develop MERS-CoV vaccine

IVI and GeneOne Life Science to collaborate in clinical development of GeneOne’s DNA-based MERS-CoV vaccine. The collaboration will accelerate vaccine development and ensure access for public health readiness in case of future outbreaks in Korea and worldwide.
GeneOne and IVI Collaborate on MERS-CoV vaccine

Signing ceremony for MERs-CoV vaccine development collaboration.

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and GeneOne Life Science Inc. have agreed to collaborate in developing a vaccine against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The collaboration will accelerate MERS-CoV vaccine development so that a vaccine can be available in South Korea for emergency deployment in the event of a future outbreak.

IVI and GeneOne held a signing ceremony at IVI headquarters at Seoul National University Research Park on December 6, 2016, where the two parties agreed to cooperate in MERS-CoV vaccine clinical development, and to ensure vaccine access to the Korean public health sector in case of an emergency and for public health programs. In attendance were IVI Director General Dr. Jerome Kim and GeneOne CEO Young K. Park.

IVI and GeneOne plan to jointly conduct a clinical trial in Korea of GeneOne’s DNA-based MERS-CoV vaccine candidate, GLS-5300. IVI will provide support for the clinical trial and conduct other related activities including technical consultation and laboratory evaluations of the immune response in trial participants at its Seoul-based laboratory facilities.

GeneOne additionally signed an agreement to supply GeneOne’s MERS-CoV vaccine for use in potential emergencies and public health programs in Korea. To this end, IVI and GeneOne would collaborate to obtain the necessary approvals from the Korean regulatory and health authorities.

Despite the continuing threat of epidemics from this zoonotic respiratory disease, there is currently no licensed vaccine or treatment for MERS-CoV. As of December 2, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports 1,841 MERS cases and 652 (35.4%) deaths worldwide since MERS-CoV was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then, 27 countries have reported cases, including Korea where an outbreak took place in the summer of 2015 resulting in 186 cases and 38 deaths.

GeneOne, a leading biotech company based in Korea, is developing the GLS-5300 DNA-based vaccine against MERS-CoV. GLS-5300 has been shown to prevent disease in pre-clinical animal studies. The vaccine is being evaluated in an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Silver Spring, Maryland, USA) to test for safety and immune response of the vaccine.

Dr. Jerome Kim, IVI Director General, said, “As an international organization devoted to vaccines for global public health, IVI looks forward to partnering with GeneOne, a Korean vaccine developer and manufacturer, whose vaccine looks very promising among the candidates in the MERS-CoV vaccine development pipeline worldwide,” adding, “IVI will closely work with GeneOne to accelerate the development of a MERS-CoV vaccine to increase the public health readiness of Korea and the world to effectively respond to a potential MERS outbreak.”

Young K. Park, CEO of GeneOne, said, “GeneOne Life Science has committed to the clinical development of its MERS-CoV vaccine in the shortest possible period of time. GeneOne is a Korean company that is at the forefront of vaccine development for emerging infectious diseases. During the outbreak of MERS-CoV in our country, GeneOne committed its resources to advance a vaccine for MERS-CoV. We are hoping to be able to confront this disease that has so devastated the lives of many. This collaboration with IVI will advance vaccine development for MERS-CoV and improve outbreak readiness for Korea and worldwide.”

GeneOne is developing the GLS-5300 MERS-CoV DNA vaccine with Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and academic collaborators. The GLS-5300 vaccine was manufactured at GeneOne’s subsidiary VGXI, Inc. located in the Woodlands Texas, USA.


The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established in 1997, IVI operates as an independent international organization under a treaty signed by 35 countries and the World Health Organization. The Institute conducts research in more than 20 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against enteric and diarrheal infections, Japanese encephalitis, MERS-CoV, and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines at its headquarters in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, please visit www.ivi.int.


GeneOne is an international company focused on finding gene-based solutions to clinical disease. GeneOne is at the forefront of DNA vaccine and DNA-based therapeutic development. GeneOne is currently spearheading clinical trials of vaccines for the Zika virus, MERS-CoV, Ebola and other infectious diseases. GeneOne has a rich pipeline of products targeting multiple cancers and diseases of man. GeneOne’s wholly-owned subsidiary VGXI, Inc. (www.vgxii.com) has 15 years of experience in the manufacture of DNA plasmid vaccines and therapeutics and has the distinction of making vaccines for Zika, MERS-CoV, and Ebola for use in human clinical trials. GeneOne is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. For more information, visit www.genels.com.

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