Korean COVID Vaccine Poised for Approval

  • By Kim Kyung-eun

    June 28, 2022 10:20

    Korea's first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine is going through the final stage of approval.

    The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Monday said a review committee has preliminarily approved SKYCovione (or GBP510) by SK Bioscience, and a final review session this week is expected to give it the green light. 

    GBP510 was developed by SK Bioscience and the University of Washington's Institute for Protein Design. Like the Novavax vaccine, it is a recombinant-protein vaccine based on the same technology used to make flu or Type B hepatitis vaccines.

    It differs from both mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna or viral-vector vaccines like AstraZeneca and is given twice at an interval of four weeks. It can be kept in normal cold storage of 2-8 degrees Celsius.

    "Fourteen days after two doses, those who got GBP510 were found to have 2.93 times more neutralizing antibodies than those in the control group who were given AstraZeneca," the review committee said. "After three doses, GBP510 was also effective in preventing Omicron variants."

    After their first dose, some people complained of fatigue, muscle pain, headache, a chill or a fever, and in one case kidney damage.

    It will be used chiefly in third-world countries rather than in Korea since more than W280 billion of the funding came from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Bill Gates-led international organization that finances vaccines for poor countries (US$1=W1,287). 

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