Ghana to receive first technology transfer for oral cholera vaccine production

The move is expected to boost the production and accessibility of lifesaving oral cholera vaccines in the country

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI Korea) and EuBiologics on Monday signed a Technology Transfer Agreement with DEK Vaccines Limited for the transfer of technology to produce oral cholera vaccine (OCV) in Ghana, beginning 2024.

The agreement will enable EuBiologics to provide DEK Vaccines Ltd with technical assistance, capacity building and innovations needed to boost the production and accessibility of lifesaving OCVs in the country.

The transfer of OCV to DEK is aimed at increasing global vaccine production capacity to reduce disparities in vaccine access for African children.

This forms part of Ghana’s Vaccine Manufacturing initiative.

Dr. Kofi Nsiah-Poku, the chief executive officer (CEO) of DEK Vaccines Ltd, said the transfer marked the beginning of a promising road to technological advancement and collaboration for vaccine manufacturing in Ghana, West Africa and Africa as a whole.

He described the transfer of technology as a link between Asia and Africa.

“This is a testament to the strength of collaboration, where individuals and organisations come together to share their expertise, knowledge, and resources for the greater good,” Dr Nsiah-Poku.

He advised stakeholders to use vaccine manufacturing technology transfer ethically to meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards.

Rachel Park, the Eubiologics’ director of International Marketing Team Leader, said the global biopharmaceutical company looked forward to a successful commercialisation of the oral cholera vaccine and expanding partnerships for other vaccines.

Aside from the OCV, Eubiologics would consider developing a combination of vaccines for typhoid and meningitis, which has had the disease burden in Africa.

“We are pleased to be in collaboration with DEK for the oral cholera vaccine and believe that this is a starting point,” she added.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoea infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development.

The symptoms include severe diarrhoea, vomiting, thirst, leg cramps, and restlessness. Cholera is an easily treatable disease.

Most infected people are effectively treated with immediate delivery of oral rehydration solution (ORS), and severely dehydrated patients are treated with intravenous fluids and suitable antibiotics.

Oral cholera vaccines, on the other hand, are vital for disease prevention and immunity building.
Seongmin Andrea Kim, the International Vaccine Institute Representative, said the DEK & EuBiologics technology transfer for OCV would have a far-reaching impact on the global vaccination landscape, particularly in the African region.

She described the initiative as a huge step forward for Africa in its fight against infectious diseases.

Delese Darko, the chief executive officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), gave the assurance that the Authority would ensure all parties abided by good manufacturing practices and regulation regimes.

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