GlaxoSmithKline begins final stage trial of COVID vaccine with SK Bioscience
According to a joint statement from the two firms, the vaccine is undergoing a Phase 3 clinical trial to examine its "safety and immunogenicity" compared to AstraZeneca's Covid vaccination.
Following encouraging early findings, British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and South Korean competitor SK bioscience have launched final-stage studies of a Covid-19 jab, they said on Tuesday. According to a joint statement from the two firms, the vaccine is undergoing a Phase 3 clinical trial to examine its "safety and immunogenicity" compared to AstraZeneca's Covid vaccination. GSK is still falling behind Anglo-Swedish rival AstraZeneca, which produced a successful vaccine in collaboration with Oxford University despite having no prior expertise in vaccine research.
The novel vaccine combines SK Bioscience's Covid vaccine candidate GBP510 with GlaxoSmithKline's pandemic adjuvant, boosting immune response. So far, no safety problems have been discovered in the trial. Subject to favourable findings and regulatory clearances, the vaccine will be distributed through COVAX, the distributor sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Gavi vaccination alliance. The results of the Phase 3 study, which will include 4,000 people from diverse countries, are due in the first half of next year. This will be the first Phase 3 trial to assess the efficacy of two distinct Covid-19 vaccine candidates.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided funds to SK to develop a low-cost vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline is also collaborating with the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi on the last Phase 3 testing of a new Covid vaccine, which they expect to introduce by the end of this year. In individuals who had already caught the coronavirus, phase 2 trials of the vaccine demonstrated a significant immune response after a single injection. GSK is also working on two other vaccination studies, one with Medicago in Canada and another with CureVac in Germany.