Dec 27, 2021

Korean drugmakers team up with CEPI to become global vaccine suppliers

An increasing number of Korean pharmaceutical and biotech companies are collaborating with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to tap the global vaccine market.

CEPI is an international private organization established in 2017 to support vaccine development to fight infectious diseases and fairly distribute vaccines across the globe.

The Korean government joined CEPI in 2020 and promised to donate $9 million until 2022.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Korean drugmakers started cooperating with CEPI in 2020.

SK Bioscience gets aggressive support from CEPI. Along with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEPI has worked with the Korean vaccine maker to develop Covid-19 vaccine candidate GBP510 from the early stage of the development and promised to support up to $213.7 million.

In addition, SK Bioscience additionally obtained a $14.2 million fund from CEPI to work on a vaccine to fight virus variants. On Tuesday, the company said it would receive an initial R&D expense of $50 million to develop a variant-proof vaccine candidate against sarbecoviruses -- the group of viruses containing SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.

SK Bioscience’s GBP510 was the first Covid-19 vaccine candidate to win the CEPI’s next-generation Covid-19 vaccine development program called Wave 2. If the company commercializes the vaccine successfully, it will supply hundreds of millions of doses to the entire world through the COVAX facility.

SK Bioscience was able to sign a deal to manufacture Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine because it had a contract with the CEPI to lend vaccine production facilities for a certain period.

Another Korean drugmaker GC Pharma was also selected as a provider of vaccine production facilities for the CEP, but it did not lead to consignment production.

Some Korean companies have joined the COVAX Marketplace, operated by the CEPI.

The COVAX Marketplace is a platform that matches vaccine manufacturers to suppliers of raw and subsidiary materials. The platform aims to access raw materials needed to make Covid-19 vaccines easily. It is expected to accelerate the global supply of vaccines by promoting collaboration among vaccine manufacturers.

Prestige Biopharma recently joined the COVAX Marketplace as a vaccine manufacturer.

Earlier in October, Cellid said it entered the platform as a supplier of raw materials.

“By joining the COVAX Marketplace, we will have an opportunity to discuss consignment production orders with vaccine developers and additionally secure a stable production supply chain from the registered raw and subsidiary material suppliers,” said Prestige Biopharma.

With the active support from the Korean government, the collaboration between Korean vaccine makers and the CEPI is likely to grow stronger.

On Nov. 16, the Ministry of Health and Welfare held Korea-CEPI Vaccine Roundtable to enhance vaccine development and production cooperation.

The conference was joined by 12 Korean companies – SK Bioscience, GC Pharma, Cellid, Eyegene, Prestige Pharma, EuBiologics, GeneOne Life Science, ST Pharm, CKD Bio, Quratis, Enzychem Lifesciences, and Ecell.

In his congratulatory remarks, Health and Welfare Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said, “This roundtable will solidify cooperation between Korean vaccine companies and the CEPI, and the government will provide full support.”

출처 : KBR(