Moderna and Novavax to produce more COVID-19 vaccines in South Korea

Test tubes are seen in front of a Moderna logo displayed in this illustration taken on May 21, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Novavax Inc (NVAX.O) have reached an agreement with the South Korean government to manufacture their COVID-19 vaccines, with the country under pressure to ensure more and faster shipments of manufactured vaccines in the USA. .

Saturday’s deals with US drugmakers came a day after US President Joe Biden said he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed on a comprehensive COVID vaccine partnership -19 and that the United States would provide vaccines to 550,000 South Korean soldiers. Read more

Moon, under pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, said a vaccine partnership would combine U.S. expertise and Korean production capacity.

Moderna, whose vaccine was approved in South Korea on Friday, said on Saturday that its vaccine will be manufactured by Samsung Biologics Co (207940.KS) and that it intends to provide these vaccines to markets outside the United States. United from the third quarter.

South Korea has become a global vaccine production base with its fourth COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing contract, Deputy Health Minister Kang Do-tae said on Sunday.

“The establishment of the Vaccine Partnership between South Korea and the United States aims to lay the groundwork for mass production of vaccines at the national level by combining the advanced technology of the United States with the production capabilities of the United States. South Korea, ”Kang said.

South Korea has made deals to locally produce coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) and Novavax, and Russian Sputnik V. The country has gained access to 40 million doses of the COVID-vaccine. 19 from Moderna, authorities said.

“We will continue to explore options to create potential local manufacturing opportunities in South Korea,” Moderna Managing Director Stephane Bancel said in a press release.

Novavax also reaffirmed on Saturday its partnership with South Korean firm SK bioscience Co Ltd (302440.KS) to expand its production of vaccines, including the US drug developer’s protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

In February, Novavax reached a licensing agreement with the South Korean manufacturer to produce 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the country.

South Korea, which has vaccinated less than 10% of its 52 million people, aims to vaccinate at least 70% by September. It has ordered up to 192 million doses of those manufactured by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N).

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 585 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total to 135,929 infections, with 1,931 deaths.

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