Latest updates on contract manufacturing deal on vaccines in South Korea
Updated: 2021-05-22 09:39:48 KST
High on the agenda for President Moon Jae-in's summit with President Biden was the subject of vaccines with Washington set to share some of its supply with Seoul.
Also in Washington are high-ranking officials from two of South Korea's top pharmaceutical companies, SK Bioscience and Samsung BioLogics.
Although no official confirmation has been given, experts believe that a memorandum of understanding will be signed with Novavax and Moderna allowing South Korea to step up its vaccine production and rollout.
SK Bioscience and Samsung BioLogics are South Korea's front runners when it comes to vaccine manufacturing deals.
SK Bioscience is currently producing the AstraZeneca vaccine, signing a manufacturing contract with the British company last July.
Then, in August, SK Bioscience agreed a deal with U.S. drugmaker Novavax.
A "technology transfer" deal was signed in February this year securing SK Bioscience the rights to produce the Novavax vaccine in Korea and supply it to the local market.
Samsung BioLogics is reported to have agreed a manufacturing deal with Moderna although the company is yet to confirm.
But, as of Friday, South Korea granted approval to the Moderna vaccine, which will be the fourth used in the country along with those from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson.
With a number of contracts signed with global pharmaceutical companies, experts say that Korea's vaccine production is world-renowned, and the deals could pave the way for it to become a global vaccine hub.
"Developing a vaccine itself is important, but the ability to produce vaccines and control the quality are also crucial. Choosing Korean pharmaceutical companies to do the job shows the acknowledgement from the international society."
The expert added that the South Korean government needs make a bold investment on vaccine development, should COVID-19 continue to circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come.
SEO Eunkyung Arirang News.