South Korea approves COVID-19 vaccine developed at UW Medicine

The Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved a COVID-19 vaccine based on technology developed at Seattle’s University of Washington School of Medicine. 

In a release, UW Medicine announced on Wednesday the vaccine became the first clinical therapeutic approved for use in people ages 18 years and older. 

Two labs at the school’s Department of Biochemistry led the development of the protein-based vaccine.   

It was found to be more effective than the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine sold under the brand names Covishield and Vaxzevria, according to officials. 

"We know more than two billion people worldwide have not received a single dose of vaccine," said David Veesler, associate professor of biochemistry at UW School of Medicine and co-developer of the vaccine. "If our vaccine is distributed through COVAX, it will allow it to reach people who need access."

The South Korean company SK bioscience trademarked their version SKYCovione. 

The University of Washington plans to license the vaccine technology royalty-free for the duration of the pandemic.