The UK’s National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and the National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation (NIFDS) from the Republic of Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) paving the way for closer cooperation on promoting and evolving standardisation of biological medicines and diagnostics, and for maintaining excellence in technical expertise and knowledge.
Final signatures were added to the agreement during the first day of the annual Expert Committee on Biological Standardization (ECBS) conference in Switzerland, hosted by the World Health Organisation – a major event in the field of global standardisation of biological medicines.
The agreement aims to promote biological standardisation, for example through international collaborative studies, and to pursue areas of mutual benefit, from access to, optimization of processing and transport of material, to building regulatory competence by exchange of scientific experts and joint workshops.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on the day by Christian Schneider, Director of NIBSC, and Yeowon Sohn, Director General of the NIFDS.
The MoU also helps to enhance the global reach for both sides and highlights the role NIBSC plays in assuring the quality of biological medicines around the world.
NIBSC Director, Dr Christian Schneider, said the MOU was an exciting foundation for closer cooperation between the two institutions.
"We operate in a global environment and this is an excellent example of the international visibility and engagement both of NIBSC and NIFDS. It further develops a fruitful relationship that both Institutes have established and maintained over many years.
"We are committed to promoting and evolving the standardisation of biological medicines and diagnostics, and this new agreement further strengthens our relationship. We are looking forward to working even closer with our Korean counterparts."
Dr Yeowon Sohn, Director General of the NIFDS, Korea said:
"Korea and UK at the country level have established a close partnership in various fields including politics, economy, culture as well as science and technology. On a side note, it has been already 130 years since both countries entered into an official relationship. The NIFDS and NIBSC, as WHO CC, also have been collaborating for the improvement of global public health, particularly, in the area of biological standardization.
"I believe that this MOU will become a catalyst to facilitate the establishment of closer and mutually beneficial relationship between both sides based on the recognition of the indispensable role of biomedicines in the treatment and prevention of diseases, and the common goal in standardization of biologics. This agreement will provide a framework for us to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the coming years through collaborative researches, expertise exchange and information sharing in pursuit of our shared goals and visions as public health organizations."