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Samsung Biologics signs vaccine production deal with Moderna

Diplomacy 23:37 May 22, 2021

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, May 22 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- Samsung Biologics, a South Korean biopharmaceutical firm, signed a deal Saturday to manufacture Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine at its local factory.

Under the agreement, Samsung will provide the U.S. drugmaker with contract manufacturing organization (CMO) services for its mRNA vaccine. It means that some of the Moderna vaccine would be produced in South Korea.

The two sides signed the contract during a South Korea-U.S. vaccine partnership event held in Washington, D.C., with President Moon Jae in attendance.

The deal is expected to contribute to the stable and speedy supply of the Moderna vaccine in South Korea, according to Moon's office, Cheong Wa Dae.

This computer-generated image shows Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. (Yonhap)

South Korea has an ambitious goal of emerging as a "global vaccine production hub." AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sputnik V vaccines are already being manufactured in the country.

Moderna also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Under the MOU, Moderna agreed to strive for investments in the mRNA vaccine production facility and hiring of manpower in South Korea. The ministries plan to offer support for Moderna's investment and business activities.

South Korea's National Institute of Health also signed an MOU with Moderna on strengthening cooperation on research into infectious diseases.

Separately, the health ministry signed a trilateral MOU with SK Bioscience, a South Korean biotechnology company, and Novavax, a U.S. firm, on the development and production of vaccines.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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