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Celltrion to develop mRNA COVID-19 vaccine

Celltrion's corporate logo (Celltrion)
Celltrion's corporate logo (Celltrion)

South Korean pharmaceutical giant Celltrion announced Wednesday that the company will develop a messenger RNA vaccine that can protect against COVID-19 variants, under a partnership with US-based biotech firm TriLink BioTechnologies.

TriLink is a San Diego-based contract development and manufacturing organization for synthesis of nucleic acids and mRNA capping analogs.

“Under the partnership with TriLink, (Celltrion) will develop a mRNA vaccine platform, through which the company could develop vaccines that could protect against a broad variety of virus infections and treatments for other diseases,” a Celltrion official said.

To help development of a new mRNA-based COVID vaccine, TriLink will provide Celltrion with mRNA production capabilities, including the company’s self-developed capping technology.

The US biotech firm will also manufacture and deliver its vaccine candidate drug substance, which Celltrion will use in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of its new mRNA vaccine.

In the meantime, Celltrion plans to secure mRNA manufacturing capabilities and establish an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility.

Celltrion said it will try to use the new mRNA platform to develop not just vaccines, but also treatments for other diseases, such as cancer.

By Shim Woo-hyun (