2020-07-31| Asia-Pacific

Asia Highlights|July

by Sherry Hsiao
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Bill Gates-Backed SK Bioscience , Plans IPO

SK Group in South Korea is planning for another IPO of its bio affiliate, S.K. Bioscience, a vaccine developer spun-off from S.K. Chemical in July 2018. As the company said on July 26, 2020, S.K. Bioscience will start procedures to go public in the next year.

In May, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded $3.6 million for S.K. Bioscience’s efforts to develop vaccines for Covid-19. As Bill Gates said in a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, SK Bioscience might be capable of producing 200 million COVID-19 vaccine kits by June next year. Besides, the company is also one of the manufacturers who signed a contract with AstraZeneca to make its vaccines in South Korea.

S.K. Biopharmaceuticals shares were 323 times oversubscribed, buoyed by the fact that it already has approval from the US FDA for solriamfetol and cenobamate.


Fujifilm Thrives with U.S. Cooperation, Bags $265 Million in Grants for COVID-19 Vaccine Projects, and Novavax’s Vaccine Candidates

On July 27, 2020, the Trump administration signed a $265 million contract with the Fujifilm Texas A&M Innovation Center, the texas facility of Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp, to speed up the production of a coronavirus vaccine candidate.

As Fujifilm said in a news release, the funds will speed up the expansion planned at the Texas facility in College Station. The Texas site will support Operation Warp Speed of Trump, aiming to expand the capabilities of developing and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in the U.S.

On July 23, 2020, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, a drug ingredient subsidiary of Fujifilm for biologics, also announced a collaboration with Novavax to supply the active ingredients for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, in the phase III trial. It was funded through Novavax’s $1.6 billion awards from Operation Warp Speed (OWS) of the federal government. Besides, in Fujifilm’s announcement, 100 million doses of NVX–CoV2373 are expected to be delivered as early as late 2020 and, therefore, benefit many patients in the U.S.


By Vicky Su
Editor: Sherry Hsiao


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