COVID-19 vaccine made at UW School of Medicine seeking international approval

Gonzaga undergraduates gain research skills via UW School of Medicine partnership

SEATTLE, Wash. — A new COVID-19 vaccine has been developed at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The vaccine, led in development by SK Bioscience, has proven to be safe and effective in late-stage clinical testing. It’s named the GPB510 vaccine, and SK Bioscience is seeking authorization for its use in South Korea within a month.

Seattle scientists sought to create a second-generation vaccine that was stable, effective in low doses, and simple to make on a large scale. Its long-term goal is to provide a reliable vaccine to parts of the world where medical, transportation and storage resources are scarce.

If approved by regulators, GPB510 will become available through COVAX, an international effort to equitably distribute COVID vaccines around the world. The South Korean government has also entered a purchase agreement for 10 million doses of the vaccine.

Unlike vaccines that use mRNA, GPB510 is made of tiny protein nanoparticles, studded with fragments of the coronavirus. The nanoparticles were designed and developed by protein engineers at UW Medicine.

The vaccine underwent Phase-3 clinical testing, involving 4,037 adults. It found that the GPB510 vaccine elicits higher levels of protective antibodies than the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, Vaxzevria. In these studies, GPB510 or Vaxveria was administered twice in four-week intervals.

The University of Washington is licensing the vaccine technology royalty-free for the duration of the pandemic.

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