CEPI and SK Biopharma Collaborate on ‘Variant-Proof’ COVID-19 Shot

December 23, 2021

CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, has joined with Korean biopharma firm SK Biopharma (SK) to develop a “variant-proof” vaccine that would protect against a large coronavirus subgenus that includes the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

The agreement provides SK with up to $500 million to develop GBP510 as a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine. GBP510 is a recombinant protein-based vaccine developed at the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington.

GBP510 has already demonstrated that it attaches to multiple receptor-binding domains (RBD) of the spike protein on a number of sarbecoviruses. RBD is the portion of the spike protein that enables the virus to bind to and infect human cells.

“Potential advantages of this vaccine candidate include broad protection against SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 variants and additional novel sarbecoviruses, scalability and thermostability,” CEPI said.

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