SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean drugmaker SK Bioscience Co. said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to extend capacity reservations for manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.
The agreement was signed between SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong and Richard Hatchett, CEO of the CEPI — an international public-private partnership — in Brussels, Belgium, the company said.
Last year, the two initially signed the agreement to reserve manufacturing capacity at SK Bioscience’s plant in Andong, about 270 kilometers south of Seoul, in 2020 and 2021 for the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines designated by the CEPI.
Under the deal, part of the local drug firm’s Andong production facility is used for COVID-19 drug production by global enterprises supported by the CEPI under the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) schemes.
U.S. vaccine producer Novavax was the first vaccine developer to enter into this manufacturing agreement with SK Bioscience to utilize the reserved capacity.
The two companies entered into the CMO agreement last August for the manufacturing and supply of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.
CEPI-supported vaccine candidates produced under this contract are procured and distributed through the COVAX Facility, an international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.