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2021-11-29| Asia-Pacific

Samsung Biologics Strikes Deal with GreenLight Bio to Manufacture mRNA Vaccines

by Joy Lin
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Samsung Biologics has inked a contract manufacturing deal with US-based GreenLight Biosciences to produce the latter’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine candidate.   

The collaboration will speed up manufacture of GreenLight’s vaccines for Phase 3 trials and commercial sales post-approval. The deal will see Samsung Biologics throw its weight behind GreenLight’s existing manufacturing process, the technology of which will be transferred from GreenLight to the Korean CDMO. 

In preparation, Samsung Biologics is gearing up its existing plant in Songdo to produce mRNA vaccine drug substances (DS). The company expects the facility will start cGMP operations in early 2022.

This is timely for GreenLight; the company has stated its intent to begin Phase 1 clinical trials of its shot in Africa in the first quarter of 2022.  

The two companies aim to supply enough mRNA vaccine doses for billions of people a year. GreenLight has also joined the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) in calls to increase the global vaccine manufacturing capacity not just for Covid-19 but also for other infectious diseases.   

“We are delighted to partner with Samsung to manufacture messenger RNA for our Covid vaccine trial. There is an urgent need to develop vaccines for the whole world,” said GreenLight CEO Andrey Zarur. “Our vaccine trial will open the way to make vaccines that are available to everybody, not just citizens of developed countries.”

Meanwhile, Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim has hailed the collaboration as a “major milestone” as the CDMO works with partners “to provide one-stop end-to-end messenger RNA production from Drug Substance (DS) to Aseptic Fill Finish (DP) to commercial release, all from a single site”.

Samsung Biologics No Stranger to mRNA Vaccines  

Samsung Biologics is no stranger to producing mRNA vaccines, having signed a deal in May with Moderna to manufacture its mRNA Covid-19 vaccines for distribution in South Korea.

The Korean CDMO subsequently began production of Moderna’s shots in August, while emergency use approval was given by the Korean government last month.  

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