|CEO Ahn Jae-yong (Right) and Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. (SK Bioscience)|
Under the new agreement, CEPI can use part of SK Bioscience’s Andong production facility until 2022 for manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines.
SK Bioscience’s factory in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, currently has a total of nine production lines that can produce drug substances for COVID-19 vaccines. Of the total, three will be reserved for CEPI, the Korean firm said.
SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong and CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett met in Brussels to extend the contract, which was due to expire by the end of this year.
In August last year, Novavax signed a contract manufacturing deal with SK Bioscience, becoming the first vaccine developer to use the production capacity reserved by CEPI.
Meanwhile, SK Bioscience CEO Ahn said the company plans to produce its own COVID-19 vaccine at the Andong plant next year, aiming to step up as a global vaccine production hub.
The company is currently in talks with foreign drug firms to sign additional contract manufacturing deals, it said, in line with the latest agreement with CEPI.
CEPI is one of the members that lead the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility. CEPI also supports development of COVID-19 vaccines and helps supply them through COVAX, a worldwide effort for equitable access to the vaccines.