2021. 12. 21
SK will develop a vaccine candidate against sarvecovirus- the group of viruses containing SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.
CEPI will provide up to $50 million to support the development of the vaccine candidate
SK will utilize a recombinant-protein based on a two-component self-assembling nanoparticle platform, the same technology for its vaccine candidate against COVID-19, GBP510
SK bioscience will cooperate with an international entity to develop a universal vaccine that will provide broader protection against coronaviruses including COVID-19.
SK bioscience (CEO Jae-Yon Ahn) announced on the 21st that the company will receive up to 50 million USD(about 60 billion KRW) from CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) as R&D expense to develop a vaccine candidate against sarbecovirus by utilizing the platform of ´GBP510´, a vaccine candidate currently undergoing Phase III clinical trial,
Sabecovirus, one of lineages of coronaviruses, includes SAR-CoV, COVID-19 and its variants. SK bioscience plans to establish broader protection system against COVID-19 variants and SARS viruses in the future and secure high marketability by developing a vaccine candidate effective for the entire sabecovirus group.
The partnership is a part of the latest award under CEPI’s 200 million USD program, launched in March 2021, to advance the development of vaccines that provide broad protection against COVID-19 variants. SK bioscience will invest the funding to support immunogen design, preclinical studies,
Phase I/II clinical trials, production of necessary clinical trial material, and process and analytical development of the new vaccine candidate.
SK bioscience has secured additional 50 million USD in support from CEPI following the 210.1 million USD(about 248.4 billion KRW) for development of GBP510. resulting in a total of 260 million USD (about 300. 84 billion KRW) will be funded.
For receptor binding domain(RBD) of the new vaccine candidate against sarbecovirus, SK bioscience’s DNA recombination technology and the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at University of Washington School of Medicine’s self-assembly nanoparticle design technology, will be applied as was for GBP510.
The recombinant nanoparticle platform is proven its safety and efficacy. The same platform has been used for development of current influenza (flu), hepatitis B, and cervical cancer vaccines, for example. The vaccine is stored in normal refrigeration conditions from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, so it can be distributed through the current vaccine supply network without thawing at inoculation stage. GBP510, the vaccine candidate developed under the same platform has recently shown positive immunogenicity and safety from Phase I/II clinical trial.
Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said “The rapid spread of the Omicron variant serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present threat posed by new COVID-19 variants, and their potential to derail the progress the world has made over the past year. It is vital for global health security to develop globally accessible vaccines that provide broad protection against COVID-19 variants and other coronaviruses. Through CEPI’s expanded partnership with SK bioscience, we aim to help control COVID-19 in the longer term and also prepare for the next viral threat before it emerges.”
Jae-Yong Ahn, CEO of SK bioscience said, “CEPI´s deep trust based on SK´s proven technology which is demonstrated during Phase III clinical trial of GBP510 and its manufacturing system has led to this expanded partnership. We will continue to research and develop to prepare long-term and fundamental solutions against the pandemic situation where various variants of COVID-19 keep threatening humanity.”