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15 Korean Companies Developing Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19
Concerted Effort to Combat COVID-19
15 Korean Companies Developing Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • March 10, 2020, 10:17
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Korean pharmaceutical companies and government agencies are working on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

Korean pharmaceutical and biotech companies and government agencies are making a concerted effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

Fifteen Korean pharmaceutical and biotech companies have set out or are preparing to develop COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, said the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association on March 9. In addition, four government agencies have started developing vaccines and treatments on their own.

Vaccine development is led by as GC Pharma and SK Bioscience, which have flu vaccine development experiences.

Government agencies, research institutes, and pharmaceutical companies are coming together to develop vaccines and treatments. The Korea National Institutes of Health recently announced eight research projects for the development of rapid diagnostics, vaccines and treatments. The Ministry of Science and ICT is conducting collaborative research with various research institutes in Korea such as the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology.

The Convergence for Emerging Virus Infection (CEVI) Research Group at the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology is developing a vaccine by predicting that two known Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) neutralizing antibodies and one Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) neutralizing antibody can be combined with COVID-19 spike protein.

The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology has teamed up with the Ministry of Science and Technology to develop a coronavirus infection animal model for testing the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. They plan to finish developing primate models with monkeys by early April.

The IMI is a joint venture between the European Commission and members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and is called one of the world's largest public-private partnerships in the field of bio-health care. Academia, the industrial world, patient groups, regulatory and medical technology evaluation agencies have united to carry out a variety of projects, and will develop treatments and diagnostic products for COVID-19 by investing 45 million euros.