Seoul [South Korea], May 25 (ANI/Global Economic): During the ROK-US summit, the attention is focused on whether the government will foster the development of domestic mRNA vaccines by laying the foundation for research cooperation with Moderna along with the consignment production of Moderna mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) COVID-19 vaccine by Samsung Biologics.
Earlier, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency announced on Sunday that the National Institute of Health signed a memorandum of understanding with Moderna on May 22 (US local time) for mRNA vaccine research cooperation.
Accordingly, it was decided to cooperate in non-clinical and clinical studies related to infectious diseases, which have high medical demand in Korea, including mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and mutant strains. In the future, it is planned to discuss the vaccine research required in Korea in detail with Modena to determine the subject of detailed research cooperation.
In addition, in line with the Korea-US summit meeting, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Health Research and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health exchanged letters of intent to cooperate in vaccine and treatment research on May 18. The two organizations will prioritize research on vaccines and treatments for novel infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and joint research on tuberculosis vaccines.
Director Joon-wook Kwon of the National Institute of Health said, "With the signing of a memorandum of understanding, the National Institute of Health will play a leading role in the field of mRNA vaccine research in Korea by strengthening cooperation with Moderna."
What is attracting attention is whether this cooperation will be an opportunity to secure Korea's original mRNA technology. Samsung Biologics is in charge of the consignment production of Moderna's mRNA vaccines. It is a "Fill and Finish" consignment production when, after receiving the undiluted solution and filling it in a sterile condition in vials (bottles), the company is in charge of labeling and packaging the vaccine. Currently, the production of undiluted solutions of Modena's COVID-19 vaccine is carried out by Lonza, Switzerland.
Starting with Samsung's final consignment production, the industry agrees that the work to secure the original technology for mRNA vaccines should proceed quickly. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry is pushing forward to form a consortium of about 10 bio companies with mRNA technology. This is with the aim to become an "Asian hub" of global vaccine supply in the long term through local development and production of mRNA. The mRNA technology has emerged as an area that must be developed as it is highly likely to be used in the treatment of other diseases such as new infectious diseases and cancer in the future. (ANI/Global Economic)