Patients on edge as doctors prepare for hospital walkout
Junior doctors pull the trigger, stage walkout despite warning
[News Focus] Why do Korean doctors oppose having more physicians?
Health ministry orders all trainee doctors to keep providing medical treatment
Hyundai Motor, Supernal in search of best talents for advanced air mobility
Reality check: How diverse is Korea really? LGBTQ+ and society (9)
'Accommodating 2,000 new med students impossible': deans of med schools
Police vow to probe doctors’ joint action
Photo of RM with saxophone in military band goes viral
Govt. to fully allow telemedicine services in case of doctors' collective action: PM
SK Bioscience signs deal to produce MSD’s new Ebola vaccineBy Shim Woo-hyun
Published : May 8, 2023 - 16:04
SK Bioscience signed a contract manufacturing agreement with MSD to produce the latter’s next-generation Zaire ebolavirus vaccine candidate, the company said Monday.
MSD is developing a next-generation Zaire Ebola vaccine candidate with Hilleman Laboratories to improve the production efficiency and thermal stability of the existing Zaire Ebola vaccine, Ervebo, which was approved in 2019.
The development of MSD's new vaccine is in the early stage, and detailed manufacturing plans, however, have not been included in the latest deal.
Zaire Ebola virus is one of the six Ebola viruses that have been identified so far. Zaire Ebola virus has been the primary cause of outbreaks over the past 20 years.
Several vaccines are currently under development for viruses that can cause Ebola virus disease -- a rare but severe illness in humans, according to the World Health Organization.
"MSD is committed to finding innovative solutions to improve access to vaccines globally, such as this collaboration with the Hilleman Institute and SK Bioscience," said MSD's Executive Vice President of Manufacturing Sanat Chattopadhyay.
When the next-generation Zaire Ebola vaccine is approved by relevant health authorities, SK Bioscience will manufacture the vaccine candidate at Andong L-House in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province. SK Bioscience will also distribute the vaccine to international organizations.
SK Discovery Vice Chairman Choi Chang-won said: “The latest collaboration (with MSD) highlights SK Bioscience's production capabilities and global network that have been proven during the COVID-19 pandemic. (The agreement) will become an important milestone (for SK Bioscience) to continue its contribution to promoting the welfare of all mankind.”
“The company looks forward to further collaborations between the government, SK Bioscience, MSD and Hilleman Laboratories to address global disparity in access to essential vaccines and to increase availability of vaccines in middle- and low-income countries,” Choi added.
South Korea's Second Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo said the government hopes the collaboration will continue in the future. Park added that the government will also find measures to support new collaborations between local and foreign biopharmaceutical firms.
Meanwhile, the latest signing came after SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong hinted that the company could sign new contract manufacturing deals with international pharmaceutical firms as early as the first half this year, during a press conference held at the end of April.
Ahn then added that the firm will invest 2.4 trillion won ($1.8 billion) over a five-year period to improve its performance and vaccine development capability.
As part of its mid-term plan, SK Bioscience will invest a total of 325 billion won to build the Songdo Global Research & Process Development Center in Incheon. The center is set to include research facilities that will develop new vaccines based on cell gene therapies, mRNA and viral vectors.
Junior doctors pull the trigger, stage walkout despite warnings
Ex-PM leaves Reform Party after rift with Lee Jun-seok
Putin's car gift to Kim showcases 'special' bond, defying UN sanctions