SK Bioscience said it has won the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's research fund of $3.6million to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
|SK Bioscience's vaccine plant in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province|
The company plans to coordinate discussions about the use of grants with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which takes the lead in the research and development of the Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.
"Although we urgently need effective and reasonably priced Covid-19 vaccines due to the global pandemic, the optimal antigenic structure required for the development of vaccines with high immunogenicity and safety has yet to be fully established," the company said.
SK Bioscience plans to collaborate with the world's leading antigen design research institute in the U.S. to develop a Covid-19 vaccine process and conduct non-clinical trials using the Gates Foundation's funding, it added.
The company said it aims to discover several Covid-19 vaccine candidates by applying three of its existing vaccine platform technologies and find the optimal antigens to draw them as clinical candidates.
Through the process, the company seeks to secure various vaccine candidates with higher immunogenicity in parallel with the development of a Covid-19 vaccine development project funded by the Korean government.
The company believes it would be able to quickly enter clinical trials based on its R&D capability and commercial production capacity with GMP certification.
"We are pleased to work together with the Gates Foundation once again, following out collaboration in developing vaccines for pediatric enteritis and typhoid," SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong said. "We will develop a Covid-19 vaccine by concentrating on our capabilities."
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