SEOUL, April 10 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea’s Samsung Group, said Friday that it has clinched a US$362 million deal to manufacture a candidate treatment for the novel coronavirus.
Under the deal, Samsung BioLogics will start full-scale production of U.S. drug firm Vir Biotechnology’s candidate COVID-19 treatment that is known to be very powerful in neutralizing the virus.
Samsung Biologics will begin manufacturing as early as October with the first engineering run, with potential commercial batches to be manufactured at its third plant starting in 2021.
Vir Biotechnology, a bioscience company based in San Francisco, specializes in developing infectious disease treatment drugs.
The company is currently developing a single clone antibody for COVID-19 treatment by separating antibodies from those completely cured from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
“Vir’s candidate molecules supported by Samsung BioLogics’ production scale have the potential to bring hope to countless lives across nations suffering from COVID-19,” CEO Kim Tae-han said in a press release.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has reached nearly 1.6 million globally, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Currently, there is no cure for the illness.