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SK Bioscience exports cell-cultured flu vaccines to Thailand

March 21, 2024 - 15:34 By Heo Yu-jeong
SK Bioscience's cell-cultured flu vaccine, SKYCellflu (SK Bioscience)

South Korean pharmaceuticals firm SK Bioscience said Thursday that it exported its cell-cultured flu vaccine, SKYCellflu, to Thailand, marking its first entry into a market with southern hemisphere requirements.

The company shipped out approximately 440,000 doses of SKYCellflu to its Thai partner Biogenetech from its vaccine manufacturing facility in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province.

SKYCellflu, the world's first cell-cultured flu vaccine endorsed by the World Health Organization, aligns with the WHO's 2024 southern hemisphere flu vaccine recommendation and is safe for egg-allergic individuals unlike traditional vaccines.

Thailand holds strategic importance for SKYCellflu due to its elongated geography, necessitating year-round flu vaccination that follows both the northern and southern hemisphere vaccine guidelines despite being entirely in the northern hemisphere.

Furthermore, SK Bioscience has honed its focus on the southern hemisphere market, leveraging potential cost savings and shorter supply delays through continuous production if flu strains are shared between hemispheres.

Starting with Thailand, SK Bioscience aims to extend its reach across southern hemisphere markets and beyond. With marketing authorizations secured in 12 countries and pending approval in ten more, the company is poised for further expansion.

Additionally, it seeks to strengthen its global presence through procurement contracts with organizations like the United Nations Children's Fund and the Pan American Health Organization.

"The export of SKYCellflu to Thailand marks a significant milestone in our expansion into the southern hemisphere and global markets," said Ahn Jae-yong, CEO of SK Bioscience.

"In line with our commitment to diversifying product markets, we are dedicated to developing vaccines with high potential, such as our upcoming pneumococcal conjugate vaccine candidate, slated for phase three clinical trials this year," Ahn added.