LOS ANGELES, CA, July 01, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — [Pangyo Bio & Medical] President Moon Jae-in visited the UK to attend the G7 summit, and he met AstraZeneca’s global CEO on the morning of June 12 (local time).
President Moon said that the AstraZeneca vaccine is meaningful in that it was the first vaccine used in Korea starting from February this year, and he thanked AstraZeneca for its efforts in supplying the vaccine and helping Korea to become global vaccine hub.
He also suggested for cooperation so that vaccine production, supply, and vaccination can be carried out smoothly in the second half of the year and continue cooperation in other areas of bio-health.
President Moon also emphasized that AstraZeneca products produced in Korea are being supplied to the world through COVAX Facility, an international project for joint purchase of vaccines.
He then referred to the Korea-US global vaccine partnership agreed at the Korea-US summit last month, suggesting AstraZeneca to actively utilize Korea’s infrastructure as the Korean government will spare no effort to resolve the global vaccine shortage.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said, “We were able to fulfill our promise of providing equal access to vaccine to the world by quickly and fairly distributing the vaccine made in Korea to 75 countries, and we would like to give credit to Korea for providing the cooperation model.”
Meanwhile, SK Bioscience has secured additional hundreds of billions of won in R&D expenses to be used in Phase 3 clinical trial of GBP510, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
This additional fund will be used for △Multi-national Phase 3 clinical trials and licensing △Development of commercial processes with annual production of large batches and introduction of related raw materials, and △Additional R&D to prepare for variants for GBP510.
GBP510 is a candidate for a COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by SK Biosciences with the Institute for Protein Design at University of Washington. The company began Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials at the end of last year, and is currently undergoing Stage 2, which is Phase 2 clinical trial.
Prior to this subsidy, SK Bioscience received support from CEPI for Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, process development, and research expenses related to mutant strains. As a result, the funds saved up exclusively for GBP510-related development expenses increased to $210.1 million (about 236.9 billion won). This is the largest international support for the development of a single vaccine in Korea.
GBP510’s receptor binding protein (RBD) induces the expression of a neutralizing antibody that will neutralize the COVID-19 virus. Non-clinical tests confirmed that RBD nanoparticles induce neutralizing antibodies and block virus proliferation.
GBP510 was selected for CEP’s Wave2 Project last year, so when commercialized, it will be supplied to the world including underdeveloped countries like Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia through the COVAX facility.
Ahn Jae-yong, president of SK Bioscience, said, “CEPI’s full support for GBP510 proves the technical level and potential value of this vaccine candidate. We will take the lead in ending the pandemic by supplying enough of this vaccine to the world, by completing the development of the vaccine that can cover the variants, and building more factories.”
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