SK Chemicals said Tuesday that it has started to supply Skyzoster, the first domestically developed shingles vaccine, to local medical institutions.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral disease and the outcome of a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, causing a painful skin rash with blisters on parts of the body. Symptoms include pain in the area with some experiencing nerve pain. The disease can also cause chicken pox or vision loss.
Skyzoster is an inactivated vaccine, consisting of virus particles, bacteria, or other pathogens, which have been cultured and then killed, reducing infectivity and making it safer than live attenuated vaccines.
The company confirmed the safety and efficacy of the treatment by conducting a clinical trial in 842 patients aged 50 or older at eight clinical institutions, including Korea University Guro Hospital.
“The launch of Skyzoster ended the monopoly on the shingles vaccine market, which was controlled by one global pharmaceutical company,” said Ahn Jae-yong, senior vice president and head of VAX business group. “Our company plans to supply shingles vaccine at a reasonable price to promote public health.”
The company plans to complete the supply of Skyzoster by the end of this year so that it can reach patients nationwide. It also plans to take steps to launch its vaccine globally.
Korea’s shingles vaccine market is estimated to be about 80 billion won ($69.78 million), compared with the global market of $683 million, last year, according to a study published by Datamonitor.
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