BioSpectrum Asia

Korea accelerate­s vaccine sovereignt­y by developing domestic COVID-19 vaccines

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SK bioscience has announced that ‘SKYCovione,’ South Korea’s first COVID-19 vaccine candidate adjuvanted with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant has been authorised by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS). South Korea has become one of the few countries in the world to have both a domestical­ly developed COVID-19 vaccine and a treatment. The developmen­t of SKYCovione has been supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation & Coalition for Epidemic Preparedne­ss Innovation­s (CEPI). The market expects that SKYCovione will accelerate securing Korea’s vaccine sovereignt­y and reducing dependence on vaccine imports. According to the ‘Global Vaccine Markets & Korea´s Vaccine

Imports Exports’ report published by Biotechnol­ogy Industry Organizati­on in March, South Korea´s vaccine imports amounted to $2.355 billion, which was 4.5 times the export value ($519 million). Experts explain that the export volume, which was only $183 million in 2017, has nearly tripled due to the contract manufactur­ing of COVID-19 vaccines, but there is still a large gap between imports and exports, so securing a domestic vaccine will be crucial.

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