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SK Bioscience to develop Covid-19 Omicron-specific vaccine
As the Omicron COVID-19 variant, which is now the most dominant strain in the world, rapidly spread in Korea, SK Bioscience also started developing Omicron-specific vaccines.
The Omicron variant has a low risk of severe disease but has a high transmission rate. Also, as the number of infected people over the age of 60 increases, it is concerned that the medical system may be affected.
In addition, studies found that vaccine efficacy is relatively lower for the Omicron variant than Delta variants. In January, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced that the prevention effect of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines was reduced to 10 per cent 20 weeks after the second-dose vaccination.
The prevention effect is 65-75 per cent 2-4 weeks after the booster shot, but it decreased to 55-70 per cent in nine weeks and 40-50 per cent in ten weeks.
SK Bioscience is developing Omicron-specific vaccines to cope with COVID-19 variants. The vaccine under development is a synthetic antigen vaccine that expands the development platform of the existing COVID-19 vaccine 'GBP510.' SK Bioscience is currently undergoing preclinical research and is aiming to conduct clinical trials on the human body in April.
Pfizer and BioNTech previously announced that they have started clinical trials of their new COVID-19 vaccine which targets the Omicron variant on 1,400 people aged 18 to 55 in the U.S. and South Africa.
SK Bioscience is planning to establish an 'immediate response system' that can quickly develop COVID-19 variants-specific vaccines from the basic research stage.
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