​SK bioscience partners with Australian research institute to cooperate in influenza research

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : June 27, 2023, 15:26 Updated : June 27, 2023, 15:26

[Courtesy of SK bioscience]

SEOUL -- SK bioscience, the developer of South Korea's first homemade COVID-19 vaccine, has partnered with an Australian research institute specializing in infection and immunization to carry out research projects in influenza biology, vaccines, and antivirals. The South Korean company aims to earn a competitive edge in the global influenza market through cooperation with the research group called the Peter Doherty Institute is affiliated with the University of Melbourne.
Data cited by SK bioscience showed that the global influenza vaccine market is projected to reach $13.5 billion by 2029 from about $7.5 billion in 2022. The South Korean vaccine developer said the Melbourne-based institute is one of the top three influenza strain suppliers in the world. The Doherty Institute is designated as a collaboration center with the World Health Organization (WHO).
SK bioscience has signed an agreement with the Doherty Institute to upgrade the research and development level for influenza vaccines, SK bioscience said on June 27. The two groups will conduct research projects to create a new influenza vaccine platform. "We expect a synergy combined with our capability in developing the world's first quadrivalent cell culture-based influenza vaccine and the infrastructure of the Doherty Institute, a leading research institution on global infectious diseases," SK bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong said in a statement.
"We will strengthen global partnerships with various organizations and continuously expand cooperative areas to establish a response system against infectious disease pandemics in the world," Ahn added. The South Korean firm is currently working with Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation, an American group founded by Bill Gates and his ex-wife Melinda French Gates, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a Norway-based foundation designed to financially support research projects for vaccines.
Domestic companies have presented drug candidates for the "twindemic," a simultaneous outbreak of two different kinds of epidemics. In November 2022, Cha Vaccine Institute, a vaccine specialist lab affiliated with Cha Biotech, introduced a new drug candidate for a combination vaccine for COVID-19 and influenza. According to South Korea's disease control agency in 2020, about three thousand people lose their lives because of the flu.
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