London (AFP)

South Korea's SK Bioscience and British laboratory GSK are starting advanced phase 3 trials for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, according to a joint statement released on Tuesday.

"The transition to phase 3 follows positive results from phase 1 and 2 in immunogenicity and safety", and these trials involving 4,000 people in different countries will "evaluate the candidate vaccine GBP510 compared to that developed by the laboratory Astrazeneca and the Oxford University, "the statement continued.

This study "will be one of the first in phase 3 to compare two different vaccines against Covid-19", specify the two groups.

SK Bioscience, which designed the vaccine candidate, and Glaxosmithkline (GSK), which provides the adjuvant, aim for phase 3 results in the first half of 2022 and then "worldwide distribution through the Covax system", under cover of review data by regulatory authorities and the scientific community.

SK Bioscience is a Korean company specializing in vaccines that has received funding from CEPI (Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparedness) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop "differentiated, inexpensive vaccines against Covid- 19 which would be distributed worldwide through the Covax system "to developing countries.

"While many countries have made good progress in immunization, there remains a need for affordable and affordable Covid-19 vaccines to protect people fairly across the planet," commented Thomas Breuer, director GSK Global Health.

"We are happy to contribute to this with the GSK Pandemic Adjuvant and to work with SK to make a large-scale vaccine available via Covax, if approved," he adds.

Covax is a system designed to allow states or territories to receive free vaccines funded by more prosperous nations.

For 2021-2022, it is expected to receive at least 610 million doses funded by donors.

The GSK laboratory has fallen behind competitors like the Swedish-British AstraZeneca in the development of a serum against Covid.

GSK is participating in the vaccine developed by the French company Sanofi, which should be launched at the end of the year.

He is also working on two other projects, one with the Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago and the other with the German CureVac.

On the treatment side, the British has developed alongside Vir Biotechnology an antibody intended to treat patients at high risk of hospitalization with the coronavirus.

It has reached an agreement to supply 220,000 doses to the European Commission.

© 2021 AFP