SK Bioscience announced on Sept. 17 that it started the export of approximately 250,000 doses of SKY Cellflu, a cell culture-derived flu vaccine, to Asian countries without self-developed flu vaccines such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Mongolia. The company is planning to export the vaccine to more countries next year by, for example, participating in international tenders in the WHO.
The vaccine developed by SK Bioscience became the world’s first WHO prequalified (PQ) cell culture-derived flu vaccine in April this year. Only vaccines with the WHO PQ certificate are allowed to participate in international tenders hosted by U.N. organizations such as the UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
SKY Cellflu is currently the only cell-culture flu vaccine in South Korea. It is produced in a cutting-edge sterile culture medium and requires neither antibiotic nor preservative administration. In addition, inoculation can be carried out well even in the case of egg allergy and production can be completed with efficiency and within a short period, enabling a timely response to flu epidemics. Moreover, recent research results are showing that cell-culture flu vaccines have a lower possibility of viral mutation during culture and as such are more preventive than traditional flu vaccines.
In the South Korean market, SKY Cellflu was released five years ago and more than 20 million doses have been sold so far. SK Bioscience was spun off from SK Chemical in July last year. It has developed the world’s first quadrivalent cell-culture influenza vaccine SKY Cellflu Quadrivalent, the world’s second shingles vaccine Sky Zoster, and South Korea’s second varicella vaccine SKY Varicella as well as South Korea’s first trivalent cell-culture influenza vaccine SKY Cellflu.