SEOUL, June 21 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Bioscience Co., a major South Korean pharmaceutical firm, said Monday it plans to invest 150 billion won (US$132 million) through 2024 to expand its production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines.
SK Bioscience said the investment is meant to increase the production capacity of the production line based in Andong, about 270 kilometers south of Seoul.
The investment will also be spent on building facilities to develop vaccines utilizing the so-called messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which recently came under the spotlight amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among major COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the market, those from Pfizer and Moderna use the technology.
The pharmaceutical firm said the move comes in line with the growing demand for COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, SK Bioscience produces British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea under a partnership deal.
Last year, the affiliate under SK Group also signed a deal with the U.S. vaccine producer Novavax for consignment production of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
In May, the company’s production line also won a Good Manufacturing Practice certification from the European Medicines Agency.