South Korea Seeks Global Partners for Upping COVID-19 Vaccine Production
After the cooperation between Samsung Biologics and Moderna on mRNA vaccine manufacturing, South Korea continues to march forward with the global mRNA vaccine business.
On June 15th, President Moon Jae-in held a video conference with the CEO of CureVac, Franz-Werner Haas, to request a vaccine partnership.
CureVac’s COVID-19 Vaccine Flops
Moderna’s mRNA-1273 and Pfizer-BioNTech’s BNT162b2 are the only two mRNA vaccines approved by FDA. In addition to that, German company CureVac had proposed a third mRNA vaccine candidate, CVnCoV. Yet, the results of the late-stage clinical trial have turned out to be disappointing.
On June 16th, CureVac announced that the efficacy of CVnCoV was just 47%. The result might be among the lowest efficacy of other COVID-19 vaccines so far. The trial had recruited about 40,000 volunteers in Latin America and Europe. However, according to the CEO of CureVac, the final analysis for new COVID-19 cases will continue in the following weeks, probably changing the overall vaccine efficacy positively.
Novavax – A Potential Partner for Korea
On the other hand, Novavax has struck gold. On June 14th, the Maryland-based vaccine maker announced that its COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, was more than 90% effective, and its vaccine will be produced by Korea’s SK Bioscience. Novavax has also agreed to deliver 40 million doses of vaccine to South Korea.
South Korea is tackling a new outbreak of domestic cases, with the infected cases bouncing back to over 500 this week. So far, South Korea has administered at least 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and almost 25% of its population has received at least one dose.
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