Komipharm shares surge on reported development of ASF test vaccine

By Lim Chang-won Posted : June 4, 2019, 16:45 Updated : June 4, 2019, 16:45

[Courtesy of Komipharm]

SEOUL -- Shares of Komipharm, a top animal health company in South Korea, surged on news that it has succeeded in developing a test vaccine that can prevent African swine fever (ASF), a deadly animal epidemic with no preventive vaccine.

Komipharm, which produces veterinary vaccines and pharmaceuticals, rose 29.31 percent to close at 28,900 won ($24.4) on KOSDAQ, an electronic stock market after the company claimed to have completed a test vaccine for the ASF virus.

Komipharm said its CEO, Moon Seong-cheol, has visited China this week to apply for a pig clinical trial with the Chinese government. "If the Chinese government refuses to give clinical approval, it will be carried out in Kenya and Uganda in Africa," the company said, adding it takes time to make a clinical product.

The animal health company said that by analyzing the genetic information of ASF viruses, it has developed a gene recombinant protein vaccine. The company plans to apply the test vaccine to pigs in cooperation with its Chinese joint venture for "attack tests."

ASF is not harmful to people, but it is highly fatal and epidemic for pigs, with a mortality rate of up to 100 percent. China, which is the world’s biggest pork producer, became the first Asian country to be hit by ASF in August 2018. The epidemic has spread to Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia and North Korea.

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