K-Bio Speeds up Development of Green Vaccine for COVID-19
Hanmi Science (CEO Lim Chong-Yoon) and BioApp (CEO Sohn Eun-Ju) are making headway with the Special Development Project aimed at building the necessary system for development, clinical trial, and mass production of a vaccine and therapeutic agent for COVID-19.
On December 22, Hanmi Science unveiled electron microscope images of a virus-like particle (VLP) that could potentially be developed into a COVID-19 vaccine. The VLP was developed with the application of plant virus-based nanotechnology in a joint research with BioApp, a bio startup specializing in developing “green vaccines,” referring to plant-based vaccines.
A pre-clinical study has recently been initiated to test the candidate drug, which was developed using recombinant proteins produced by integrating plants (mRNA) and proteins made from the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. What is meaningful is that the candidate drug was developed solely with domestic technology. The two companies expect that the new technology will serve as a valuable national asset in the field of industrial science.
Hanmi Science and BioApp have confirmed based on animal testing that the green vaccine candidate drug for COVID-19 leads to greater levels of neutralizing antibodies than what has been reported for those who have recovered from the virus. A pre-clinical study, which includes a toxicity test, is currently underway to obtain approval for the vaccine. It was also announced that they are in the process of filing an application for a demonstration project for a green vaccine that specifically targets the UK variant, which is known to be more infectious than the original virus.
The two partners are conducting official tests for the green vaccine production with a goal to kick off the clinical trial on the safest green vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021. In addition to commercial production, Hanmi Bio Plant is testing the process for sophisticating the green vaccine purification technology developed by BioApp for commercialization and designing a production facility capable of carrying out small-scale production and a demonstration project at the same time to prepare for emergency production. There are plans to scale up the facility as soon as possible according to the results.
Hanmi Science announced that it has recently made a strategic equity investment in BioApp following the conclusion of a business agreement on green vaccine development and commercialization in June 2020. This is seen as a sign of commitment of the two partners to speed up the joint development of a green vaccine for COVID-19.
Source: Medipana News