Leading the development of TB vaccines for youth and adults

김선중 기자l승인2020.01.28l수정2020.01.28 09:15






▲ Quratis / CEO Gwangu Jo

The World Health Organization pointed out tuberculosis as one of the 10 causes people die from. Among the OECD, South Korea has the highest incidence, prevalence and mortality rates of TB. Although there is BCG Vaccine for infants vaccines for youth and adults have not yet been found. 

Established in 2016, Quratis is a South Korean company which signed a partnership with US IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) to introduce vaccine technologies and to research and develop vaccines for youth and adults. Currently, Curatis is carrying out the second test for adults and the first test for youth on approval of the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. 

Curatis has 13 patents and 8 trade marks in South Korea. The researchers of Curatis are consisted of masters and doctors of respective fields and they are targeting to draw global level research and development. 

The company also is building a 19,834 square meter automated production facility in Osong, North Chungcheong Province, at the moment. The facility is designed to meet the standards of KGMP (South Korea), cGMP (US) and EU-GMP (EU). The company plans to generate profits through CMO (Contract Manufacturing Organization) and CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) when it is completed.

Curatis is expecting to see a release of TB vaccines in 2024 in South Korea and is planning to vaccinate the government designated high risk group (soldiers, high school students, education workers, health workers and foreigners) first on obtaining an approval for vaccine programs. It is estimated that South Korea is spending around 1 trillion won ($864 million) social cost for TB and the success of TB vaccines for youth and adult is expected to save this cost.  

Meanwhile, Curatis is working on development of GLA-SE. It is a matter that stimulates TLR-4 (Toll-Like Receptor 4) to activate immune reactions. The researchers are developing new pipelines that are combined with vaccine antigens for both human body and animal body. Also, they are working on development of new concept cell therapy products that can be applied to TB, cancer and rheumatism; and of next generation antibacterial agents based on peptide mucleic acid. 

In recognition of continuous research and development, Curatis received a ministerial prize from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups at the Innovation Winner 2019 hosted by the Herald Group and managed by monthly <PowerKorea>. Taking the momentum, Curatis is pushing forward post clinical tests in 5 countries including South Korea with a target to release TB vaccines for youth and adults. 

An official of Curatis said that the company had obtained A grade from the Korea Enterprise Data and also A grade from the Korea Health Industry Development Institute. Both are designated organizations of Korea Exchange. 

김선중 기자  cid14@daum.net
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