Institute of Medical Biology

The Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) was founded in 1958 to develop and commercially produce viral vaccines for infectious diseases, particularly poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, and hand, foot, and mouth disease. Currently, IMB is both a research institution and a production facility, conducting basic and applied research as well as manufacturing vaccines. It is also the postgraduate education of PUMC and the World Health Organization Collaborative Research Center for Enteroviruses. IMB is the largest research and production center for live attenuated oral poliomyelitis vaccine (OPV) and hepatitis A vaccine (HAV) in China. From the 1960s, when OPV was licensed, to the present, more than 52 billion doses of the vaccine have been supplied to the national Expanded Program on Immunization, making a tremendous contribution to the control and eradication of poliomyelitis in China. Since HAV was licensed in 1992, IMB has supplied more than 2 billion doses to the Chinese market, playing an essential role in controlling outbreaks of hepatitis A and reducing its incidence in the country.

Throughout its history, the institute has operated on the principle of integrating production, study, and research. It has a strong program of basic and applied research relevant to the development of biological products. Among its goals is the establishment of systems for vaccine development and technological innovation that can be sustained over the long term. Additionally, it seeks to promote the development of disciplinary construction by training high-level creative talent and fostering the development of effective research teams.

IMB is the largest center undertaking primate breeding and animal experiments; it has bred more than 2,000 rhesus macaques and other primates, and around 2,000 tree shrews, all with known genetic backgrounds. IMB’s good laboratory practice-certified facility evaluates the non-clinical safety and efficacy of new drugs and vaccines in animals.

Currently under construction at the institute, the Kunming National High-level Biosafety Research Center for Primates will study the etiology, epidemiology, pathogenicity, and diagnosis of existing and emerging infectious diseases and will be the largest such facility in China.

From the 1960s, when OPV was licensed, to the present, more than 52 billion doses of the vaccine have been supplied to the national Expanded Program on Immunization, making a tremendous contribution to the control and eradication of poliomyelitis in China. Since HAV was licensed in 1992, IMB has supplied more than 2 billion doses to the Chinese market, playing an essential role in controlling outbreaks of hepatitis A and reducing its incidence in the country.