SEOUL, June 29 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's food and drug ministry on Wednesday approved the use of the country's first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) said it made an "item approval" decision on SKYCovione, developed by SK Bioscience, a pharmaceutical unit of the country's third-biggest conglomerate SK Group, on the premise that the company submits the final result of its clinical trials.
The SKYCovione, also known as GBP510, is a self-assembled nanoparticle vaccine, jointly developed with the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington School of Medicine, SK Bioscience said.
It was the country's first COVID-19 vaccine that had completed all three phases of clinical trials. The phase-three clinical trial was conducted on 4,037 adults in six countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Ukraine, the Philippines and South Korea.
The South Korean company said the phase-three clinical trial results showed that its vaccine induced neutralizing antibody responses three times larger than that of AstraZeneca's vaccine, the control vaccine used in the study, two weeks after the second dose.
SKYCovione was designed to administer two doses in a four-week interval.
According to latest data from the health authorities, about 87 percent of the South Korean population had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and 65 percent of the population had gotten booster shots.