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SK Bioscience to export influenza vaccine to Asian countries

Lee Han-soo  Published 2019.09.17  11:27  Updated 2019.09.17 11:27

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SK Bioscience will export 250,000 doses of Skycellflu, the first cell-cultured quadrivalent vaccine covering four strains of influenza viruses in the world, to Asian countries as it received sales approval from their health regulatory agencies.

SK Bioscience's influenza vaccine Skycellflu

The company said Tuesday it plans to ship the first batch of its vaccine to countries that do not have a locally developed influenza vaccine such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Mongolia.

Starting with this export, SK Bioscience plans to expand Skycellflu's overseas advances by participating in the World Health Organization’s international bidding next year. The vaccine is the world's first cell-cultured flu vaccine to receive WHO prequalification (PQ) certification.

PQ-certified vaccines are eligible to participate in international bids organized by U.N. agencies such as UNICEF and PAHO.

Skycellflu does not require any antibiotics or preservatives as the company manufactures the vaccine using a state-of-the-art sterile incubator. As it does not use a fertilized egg to produce the vaccine, the treatment is safe for those who are allergic to eggs or sensitive to antibiotics, according to SK Bioscience.

Recently, researchers have also published studies which showed that the cell-cultured influenza vaccine provides a higher preventive effect than fertilized egg vaccine as the former is less likely to cause virus mutations in the culture process.

According to data analyzed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2017 to 2018, cell-cultured quadrivalent flu vaccines showed 11 percent higher protection against influenza when compared with the fertilized eggs quadrivalent flu vaccines.

Based on such advantages, SK Bioscience sold more than 20 million doses in Korea alone in five years after launching the product.

"Cell-cultured influenza vaccines developed by home-grown technology are advancing overseas," SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong said. "Through innovative technology, we will create a global vaccine brand that contributes to human health."

corea022@docdocdoc.co.kr

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