mRNA vaccine consortium grows

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mRNA vaccine consortium grows

Representatives from Hanmi Pharmaceutical, GC Pharma, ST Pharm, Korea Innovative Medicines Consortium and Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association pose for a photo after signing an agreement to launch K-mRNA consortium on June 29 at the Koreana Hotel in central Seoul. [YONHAP]

Representatives from Hanmi Pharmaceutical, GC Pharma, ST Pharm, Korea Innovative Medicines Consortium and Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association pose for a photo after signing an agreement to launch K-mRNA consortium on June 29 at the Koreana Hotel in central Seoul. [YONHAP]

 
Korean biopharmaceutical company Dong-A ST and biomaterial company Ecell have joined a consortium developing an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine in Korea.
 
Led by three bio companies — Hanmi Pharmaceutical, GC Pharma and ST Pharm — the K-mRNA consortium was launched in late June with the goal of developing Covid-19 mRNA technology and a system to mass produce the vaccine.
 
mRNA, or messenger ribonucleic acid, technology induces an immune response by injecting antigen genes into the body to create spike proteins. The Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines use mRNA. 
 
The Korea Innovative Medicines Consortium, which was formed by the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association and 56 local biopharmaceutical companies, is also a member of the K-mRNA consortium.
 
K-mRNA has been developing STP2104, a Covid-19 mRNA vaccine candidate, with the goal of starting Phase 1 clinical trials within the year. It aims to commercialize the vaccine by the first half of next year and produce 100 million doses by the end of 2022.
 
Dong-A ST will be responsible for submitting applications for clinical trials, conducting trials and obtaining approvals of the vaccine using the experience it has acquired in the bio industry. 
 
Ecell, an Anyang, Gyeonggi-based biomaterial company, will supply necessary materials for the mRNA vaccine.
 
The consortium has also been working on a vaccine for the highly contagious Delta variant. For that, ST Pharm’s candidate STP2130 has been undergoing preclinical trials to test its efficacy.

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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