SK Bioscience said that it has succeeded in discovering a vaccine candidate for COVID-19 and started the animal clinical trial of the candidate substance.
If the company confirms the efficacy of the treatment in the animal study, it plans to enter non-clinical tests immediately to confirm the safety as soon as possible.
“The company’s goal is to start clinical trials as early as September after completing the preclinical trial,” SK Bioscience said. “We secured the antigen produced by genetic recombination technology as a vaccine candidate through several types of protein culture and purification platforms.”
The vaccine candidate shows higher safety than other vaccines in the form of subunits, the company added.
SK Bioscience expects to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that secures safety and effectiveness in a short period based on the existing synthetic antigen production technology and MERS vaccine development experience.
The company previously succeeded in developing a candidate for cervical cancer vaccine with the same platform and is currently in phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment. It also filed a patent related to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2017.
As the company has a plant with the necessary equipment to produce the vaccine, it plans to manufacture the vaccine in earnest after completing trials for the candidate substance.
“We are concentrating all our capabilities on developing the vaccine with the responsibility of overcoming the diseases that threaten humanity,” SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong said. “To this end, the company has assigned more than 130 R&D personnel from its research institute in developing the vaccine.”
SK Bioscience will establish a response system as soon as possible in cooperation with related government agencies such as the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Ahn added.