South Korean pharmaceutical company SK Bioscience said on Monday that it has begun the third phase of the clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
This comes nearly three weeks after the country's drug ministry approved a final stage trial.
The vaccine, which was co-developed with the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, has become South Korea's first homegrown vaccine candidate to enter the final phase.
The company said it will conduct trials to around 4-thousand adults, in 14 medical facilities in Korea and some other facilities overseas.
Conducting the trials in other countries will begin as soon as next month, and to that end, SK Bioscience has partnered with the International Vaccine Institute based in Seoul.
The experimental vaccine is formulated with British drugmaker GSK’s vaccine Adjuvant, which is designed to boost the immune response.
During the clinical trial, it will be given in two doses, 28 days apart.
Because it can be stored at between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, the company says it will be easy to transport and to store for up to long periods.
Within the first half of next year, the drugmaker aims to produce an interim report before seeking final approval.
It also aims to achieve WHO prequalification and emergency use authorization in other countries so that it becomes available worldwide.
Bae Eun-ji, Arirang News.