[Photo provided by SK Bioscience Co.]
SK Bioscience Co. is expected to extend consignment contract with Maryland-based Novavax to produce its Covid-19 vaccine antigen beyond this year.
If achieved, SK Bioscience, a vaccine business subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Group will manufacture NVX-CoV2373, Covid-19 vaccine of U.S. biotechnology company Novavax, and antigen at its vaccine facility in Andong, Korea until the end of 2022. SK Bioscience’s agreement signed in February is valid until the end of this year. Afterwards, the Korean vaccine company was to fill-finish NVX-CoV2373 vaccine only.
[Photo by Yonhap]
The government has been mediating to extend the manufacturing arrangement for “security” in the supply beyond next year, said Korean health minister Kwon Deok-cheol on Tuesday upon meeting Novavax CEO Stanley Erck in Korea this week.
The Korean government already is engaged in an advance purchase agreement on 40 million doses of NVX-CoV2373. SK Biosciences on behalf of Novavax will supply 20 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 through September and another 20 million doses by December this year. The 40 million doses would inoculate 20 million people.
[Photo by Yonhap]
SK Bioscience’s existing manufacturing agreement with Novavax is attached with technology transfer, which enables the Korean firm to adjust production schedule for commercial distribution in Korea. SK Bioscience will begin rolling out NVX-CoV2373 as soon as the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approves the vaccine.
On Wednesday, shares of SK Bioscience rose 4.47 percent to finish at 163,500 won ($146.90) in Seoul.
By Kim Byung-ho, Lim Sung-hyun and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]