SK Bioscience said on March 23 that it has successfully released candidate materials for COVID-19 vaccines and is now in the stage of full-fledged animal efficacy.
Once the animal test is effective, it plans to start nonclinical tests immediately to check safety and enter clinical trials as early as September after nonclinical completion.
SK Bioscience said it has secured anigen (a substation that causes the human body to form an emmune anibodies), which is produced using gene recombination technology, as a candidate material for vaccines through various forms of protein cultivation and refining platforms.
The candidate material for this vaccine is a subunit (antigens containing part of the virus) form, which has higher safety compared to other vaccines.
The company expects to be able to develop COVID-19 vaccines that have secured safety and effectiveness in a short period of time based on its existing technology to produce synthetic antigens and experience in developing MERS vaccines.
SK Bioscience succeeded in developing a candidate material for cervical cancer vaccine with the same platform, and is currently in the second phase of clinical trials.
It also applied for a patent on the "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS) S Protein Immunity Products and How to Make It" in 2017.
"We are focusing on our company's capabilities by putting in about 130 research and development workers at the Pangyo research center," said Ahn Jae-yong, CEO of the company. "We will establish a response system as soon as possible by cooperating with related agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration."
Meanwhile, SK Bioscience is a vaccine company established by SK Chemicals in July 2018. It has a variety of homegrown vaccines, including the Korea's first cell-cultivated flu vaccine, "Sky Cell Flu."