S. Korea to inject $690 mn to support Covid-19 vaccines, biologics development

2021.04.19 13:50:04 | 2021.04.19 13:50:43

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The Korean government will inject 771.8 billion won ($690.8 million) to aid the development of Covid-19 vaccines and novel therapies by local drug and biotech companies, as well as education and training of professionals in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

This year’s budget was up 64 percent from last year’s 469.9 billion won, reflecting the government’s strong commitment to fostering the healthcare industry as one of the country’s three innovative growth drivers along with system semiconductor and future mobility, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare last weekend.

By sector, the government will spend 645.1 billion won to support research and development activities for coronavirus vaccines and cures, novel oncology drugs, and advanced biologics including cell and gene therapies. A total of 131.4 billion won was earmarked to support clinical trials by local coronavirus cure and vaccine developers.

The ministry said the government will continue to support efforts to develop indigenous vaccines and cures to fight the pandemic, while securing procurement of overseas vaccines to contain the pandemic’s fallout earlier.

A total of 89.1 billion won will be spent on training of experts in the production of biologics and in areas such as clinical trials, artificial intelligence and bid data to enhance efficiency in drug development and production.

The government also set aside 6.1 billion won to help companies advance into global markets and 31.5 billion won to provide legal support for advanced biologics.

By Chung Ji-sung and Minu Kim

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