GC Pharma announced on March 19 that it has begun to develop a vaccine and a treatment for the COVID-19 virus with support from the Korea Center for Disease Control.
The company submitted a proposal for new drug development to the center in cooperation with the Mok-Am Life Science Research Institute. It aims to develop a candidate material for a synthetic antigen-based COVID-19 subunit vaccine and discover a candidate material for a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of the virus.
Unlike an attenuated vaccine that utilizes viruses or bacteria, a subunit vaccine uses proteins to ensure safety. GC Pharma is planning to discover candidate materials from proteins expressed on the surface of the coronavirus and to mass-produce them using genetic recombination technology. To increase the effectiveness of the vaccine, GC Pharma expects that it would be used in conjunction an adjuvant.
GC Pharma has accumulated R&D capabilities through the development of various vaccines, such as an influenza vaccine, a chickenpox vaccine, and a hepatitis B vaccine. The accumulated R&D capabilities are expected to be applied to the development of a novel coronavirus vaccine.
GC Pharma will seek to discover a candidate material for a treatment for the virus by utilizing B cells (cells that make antibodies) from the blood of a person carrying the virus. Subsequently, it will start developing a monoclonal antibody treatment using recombinant technology.
“We are planning to develop effective vaccines and treatments by utilizing our research and development capabilities accumulated through the development of various vaccines and genetic recombination treatments,” said Yoo Hyun-ah, head of the GC Pharma Research Institute.
GC Pharma (formerly known as Green Cross Corporation) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to delivering lifesaving and life-sustaining protein therapeutics and vaccines. Headquartered in Yongin, South Korea, GC Pharma is one of the leading plasma protein product manufacturers in the world and has been dedicated to quality healthcare solutions for more than half a century. Green Cross Corporation updated its corporate brand to GC Pharma in early 2018. Green Cross Corporation remains the company’s registered, legal name.
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