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Genexine, Binex to co-develop coronavirus vaccine GX-19

A consortium for COVID-19 vaccine research kicks off Friday, including Genexine, Binex, GenNBio, Kaist and Postech. (Genexine)
A consortium for COVID-19 vaccine research kicks off Friday, including Genexine, Binex, GenNBio, Kaist and Postech. (Genexine)
Korean companies Genexine and Binex will jointly develop potential COVID-19 vaccine “GX-19,” in hopes of preventing yearly seasonal flus showing respiratory symptoms, the companies said Monday.

GX-19 will be a DNA vaccine, developed using Genexine’s platform technology and manufactured at Binex’s “good manufacturing practice”-abiding facility.

A DNA vaccine involves a DNA delivery vector fitted with the genetic information of a particular virus, to which the human immune system may safely develop a defense mechanism. Genexine will inject the DNA of the COVID-19 virus in its delivery vector to test it.

US biotech Inovio has similar technology which it is using in COVID-19 vaccine development. In its research efforts, Inovio had been exempted from the US’ Food and Drug Administration’s toxicity test requirement, and was given a grant of up to $9 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

In an effort to expedite domestic research, Genexine on Friday had declared the formation of a consortium comprising itself, Binex, the International Vaccine Institute, GenNBio, kaist and postech for the development of GX-19.

Genexine and Binex will begin manufacturing clinical samples from March. The consortium expects to turn in a clinical test design to the drug ministry by June.

“Through this co-development of GX-19, we wish to establish the ground on which we may promptly develop vaccine given whatever novel virus’s advent,” said Genexine and Binex officials.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)
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