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Gates Foundation gives $3.6m to SK Bioscience’s COVID-19 research

A SK Bioscience vaccine researcher is at work. (SK Bioscience)
A SK Bioscience vaccine researcher is at work. (SK Bioscience)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is doling out a series of funding for epidemic countermeasure research in Korea.

SK Bioscience, a vaccine researcher and developer firm, said Monday that it has nabbed $3.6 million financial backing from the US foundation for to research the biologic structure of an optimal antigen for epidemics.

This comes a day after the announcement of some $9.7 million funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for Korean telecom company KT’s research for epidemic preparedness solutions using information and communications technology.

The funding SK Bioscience has received from the foundation is greater than what the Korean government has given -- 100 million won ($81,000) -- for the company’s research for the development of synthetic antigens that could be potential vaccine candidates for COVID-19 and related epidemics.

SK Bioscience said it will fine-tune the budget with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global union that is leading the world’s COVID-19 vaccine research.

The company said it is confident of delivering accelerated study results based on its research and development experience in cell-cultured flu vaccine, cervical cancer vaccine and pediatric enteritis vaccine. It also has its own good manufacturing practice-abiding facility.

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