Samsung will produce the coronavirus vaccines on behalf of Pfizer. ModeRNA in negotiation

Samsung may soon begin production the coronavirus vaccine of Pfizer, according to the latest rumors reported by Korea Herald: the plan would be being defined for months, and should materialize in these days. The president of South Korea Moon Jae-in is on an official trip to the United States, and in the calendar of commitments there is also a meeting with Albert Bourla, precisely the CEO of Pfizer, tomorrow in New York. In that context, President Moon should express gratitude for the doses delivered to the country so far and propose a partnership.

It is not the first meeting of this type organized by Moon. In recent months, he has met with the leaders of Moderna, AstraZeneca and Curevac. The goal is to speed up the vaccination campaign in Korea. Everything is part of an alliance agreed between Moon and US President Joe Biden himself, decided during a summit held in May. Korea, overall, intends to invest around the equivalent of two billion dollars for become the largest vaccine manufacturing hub in all of Asia.

Samsung enters the matter because of its biotechnology division: it's called Samsung Biologics, which is based in the super-tech city of Songdo, in Korea. Founded in 2011, it is what in the industry is called CDMO: the acronym stands for Contract and Development Manufacturing Organization, and is basically the equivalent to OEMs in the tech sector. That is: the CDMOs produce and develop (or only develop, in the case of the CMOs) medicines and drugs on behalf of third parties.


For reference, let's mention some of the other businesses in which Samsung is involved, in addition to the more famous Samsung Electronics, SDI and the aforementioned Biologics:

  • Samsung Engineering: construction, design and construction. Mainly specialized in the construction of refineries, power plants, purification plants and the like.
  • Samsung Heavy Industries. Owner who mainly deals with large cargo ships, tankers, ferries and passenger ships, as well as materials and scaffolding.
  • Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Samsung Life Insurance: insurance companies.
  • Samsung Medical Center: hospital and oncology research center – the largest in the entire Asian continent.
  • Samsung SDS: IT infrastructure products and services.
  • Samsung Everland: activities in the food, textile/fashion, environment, resort sectors.
  • Hotel Shilla: chain of hotels and duty-free shops.

HD Blog – September 20, 2021

Samsung in talks with Moderna to produce COVID-19 vaccine in Korea

South Korea has confirmed that Samsung Biologics is in discussions with Moderna to allow the country to produce its COVID-19 vaccines at Samsung's domestic manufacturing facilities. “The government has repeatedly asked Moderna and Samsung Biologics that Moderna vaccines intended for home use be produced in Samsung Biologics facilities. Despite repeated requests, nothing has been decided yet,” Lee Ki-il, a senior official at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, told reporters at a regular briefing on Wednesday.

Citing unnamed politicians from the country's liberal Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), the Korea Times reported that "labor-level discussions" were underway with Moderna representatives in early August about how the country could obtaining more vaccines from the US drugmaker and soon after acquiring the production of the vaccines to start at Samsung Biologics' manufacturing facilities in Songdo, Incheon. Lee said South Korea was hoping to receive "a large quantity" of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines. Moderna agreed to supply South Korea with 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, but did not set a delivery deadline.

“We currently have no safety stocks to allow for faster delivery of vaccines,” a Moderna spokesperson said. Samsung Biologics plans to begin mass-producing Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines at its domestic manufacturing facilities by the third quarter of this year. These vaccines will be distributed in countries other than the United States, after gaining approval from Moderna and passing qualification tests from the country's health ministry, he said.

Samsung Biologics is ramping up the production capacity of messenger RNA (mRNA) substances at its Songdo plant near the port city of Incheon, which will be ready for effective operations next year. This increased production will give the Samsung subsidiary the full capacity to handle the large-scale production and storage of the vaccine.

By Kim Yoo-chul – Mon, September 27, 2021 – Biz & Tech

Related news: How to produce anti-Covid vaccines for the whole world (in one year)

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