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South Korea: Domestic production of Pfizer vaccine? Samsung Bio and Pfizer's denial still raises expectations

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Asia | May 13, 2021 1:44:18 PM IST
Seoul [South Korea], May 13 (ANI/Global Economic): Even though Samsung Biologics denied reports that Pfizer's novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) vaccine is being produced on terms of the contract manufacturing organization (CMO), observations that the possibility cannot be ruled out are slowly emerging from inside and outside the industry.

Since the government has announced that domestic pharmaceutical companies will be consigned to produce COVID-19 vaccines developed overseas starting August, Samsung Biologics, which has capabilities of mass production, is bound to be mentioned as a leading candidate. Samsung Biologics is the world's No. 1 CMO company in terms of production scale.

In the pharmaceutical and bio-industry, Samsung Biologics, which has large-scale production facilities, cannot be excluded from the candidate list at all, but it is believed that nothing can be asserted at this time.

An official in the pharmaceutical industry said, "As Samsung Biologics wrote a definitive expression in the disclosure that it is not true, it is difficult to assess the additional situation." "It may be because of the provisions that must be kept undisclosed during the negotiation process," he added.

Even if Samsung is negotiating with Pfizer and others, it can still deny this fact because the contract has not yet been reached. This is because of confidentiality provisions during negotiation process when signing a contract between companies.

Those who predict the possibility that Samsung Biologics can produce the COVID-19 vaccine also expressed opinion that August might be "too early." Even if production facilities are expanded from now on, it is not easy to start operation from August.

Moreover, in the case of Pfizer vaccine, it is developed in the form of mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid, messenger RNA), and facilities must be expanded accordingly. Samsung Biologics has been producing biopharmaceuticals and antibody drugs for multinational pharmaceutical companies but has not actually produced vaccines.

An official from a domestic vaccine company said, "Even if they are negotiating and expanding the actual facilities, it is not easy to prepare and start mass-production of the vaccine in August. It may vary depending on the level of Pfizer's technology transfer, but it is difficult to specify the timing of commercialization." (ANI/Global Economic)

 
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