[Source: SK bioscience]
A handful of Korean pharmaceutical and biotech firms are eagerly going after the vaccine immune adjuvant market growing in proportion to vaccine coverage amid the pandemic around the world. In Korea, another Covid-19 jab developed by Novavax was added to the list of available options against the coronavirus last month. Vaccine manufacturers renewed attention to immune adjuvant, a lucrative platform technology, as it allows them to roll out more vials with the same amount of antigen.
The immune adjuvant market directly proportional to vaccine demand is estimated to grow from $568 million in 2020 to $1 billion in 2027 around the world, according to industry forecasts on Sunday.
U.S.-based Dynavax Technologies, a leading adjuvant developer, generated about 100 billion won ($82.2 million) in the third quarter of last year with its adjuvant product `CpG 1018` alone.
In Korea, SK bioscience is planning to conduct a study to evaluate its 4-valent flu vaccine SKYCellflu Quadrivalent in combination with an adjuvant this year, while readying to roll out its own Covid-19 jab.
EuBiologics is another Korean player to focus on adjuvant development. The company is in full swing to develop a liposome-based adjuvant (ECLS0) which can be applied to a range of its investigational vaccines against coronavirus variants, as well as herpes zoster, Alzheimer’s and HPV diseases.
CHA Vaccine Institute is developing vaccines using L-pampo, a TLR 2/3 ligand-based adjuvant designed to induce innate immune response, and Lipo-pam, which is made into a liposome formulation. The company is developing a vaccine for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and prevention of herpes zoster. For the HBV treatment vaccine, it aims to complete a Phase 2b clinical trial in the first half of 2023 and an out-licensing deal, and for the herpes zoster vaccine, a Phase 1 clinical trial is slated to be re-filed in the first half of this year.
Quratis has developed its own adjuvant `GLA-SE`. The company has also applied for Phase 2b and 3 trials for its tuberculosis vaccine QTP101 using the adjuvant with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and aims to launch it by 2025. Genexine is applying its independently developed adjuvant GX-17 to an immune-oncology agent.
By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim
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