The Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group has taken the first step toward becoming the vaccine hub of the Asia-Pacific region.
Hanmi Bioscience Consortium has recently submitted its proposal to serve as a vaccine hub for the Asia-Pacific Region to the World Health Organization.
According to industry insiders, Hanmi Science, the group's holding company, has recently submitted a proposal to the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in the latter's project to create regional hubs for manufacturing Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.
The consortium, led by Hanmi Science, is participated in by GeneOne Lifescience, Innobio, GS Neotek, and Myongji Medical Foundation.
Hanmi’s proposal is part of establishing mass production bases for global vaccine supply through WHO and COVAX. It is also part of the Korea-U.S. Global Vaccine Partnership agreed between Presidents Moon Jae-in and Joe Biden during their summit meeting in May.
The WHO has seen some progress in its plan, as the U.N. agency began establishing a Covid-19 vaccine hub for the African region in the South African Republic.
Hanmi Group seeks to become a vaccine hub in the Asia-Pacific region, where 40 percent of the world's population lives. The area has also seen vaccine shortages and supply disruption tied to the two significant mRNA vaccine axes – Moderna and Pfizer.
Korea has experienced a sudden setback in the national vaccination program, as Moderna delivered less than half of the 8.5 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine planned for August. Japan also received only 13.7 million of the 40 million Moderna vaccines that the company initially scheduled to receive by June.
Experts noted that Moderna's supply shortage problems might have resulted from its lack of experience in mass production and distribution of pharmaceuticals before the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.
They added that to be a viable candidate for the WHO's vaccine hub designation, applicants need to prove stable mRNA vaccine mass production capacity above all else.
"Currently, we are open to various open innovation possibilities, including partnership negotiations for overseas mRNA vaccine clinical trials," a Hanmi Science official said." The company has also recently completed the internal design to use Hanmi Bioplant as a dedicated mRNA manufacturing facility."
Hanmi Fine Chemicals, an affiliate of the group, has also secured the ability to supply up to 300 million doses of mRNA vaccine raw materials within one year, the official said. The company's ability to produce the mRNA vaccine using raw materials exceeds that of making raw materials.
"The Pyeongtaek Hanmi Bioplant can produce 100 million doses of DNA vaccines and 1 billion doses of mRNA vaccines annually," he added.
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