Logo of Samsung Biologics (Samsung Biologics)
Samsung Biologics will begin manufacturing AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 antibody combination Evusheld by expanding their earlier deal, officials said Tuesday.
The newly expanded deal is estimated at $380 million, up about $50 million from the initial contract of the two pharmaceutical giants’ long-term strategic partnership signed in September 2020.
Evusheld, formerly known as AZD7442, is a combination of two long-acting antibodies, tixagevimab and cilgavimab. It has the effect of preventing coronavirus infections for those at an increased risk in receiving a vaccine shot due to underlying diseases or a weakened immune system.
Evusheld is the first long-acting antibody combination to receive emergency use approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. As Evusheld has not been approved in South Korea, the Samsung Biologics-made coronavirus antibody combination will be rolled out overseas.
Under the expanded agreement, Samsung Biologics will also begin manufacturing AstraZeneca’s oncology product -- Imfinzi -- from next year.
“We will support our clients by bringing innovative solutions to an array of diseases, especially during this time when it is needed the most, and together find ways to expedite the delivery of crucial therapies to the market,” said John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics.
“We will quickly solve the problem of COVID-19, which is seriously threatening public health around the world and contribute to changing patients‘ lives by providing innovative anti-cancer drugs to the world more quickly,” said Kim Sang-pyo, CEO of AstraZeneca Korea.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced Monday that it has decided to approve the manufacturing and supply of Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, which is also produced by Samsung Biologics.
In May, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the ministry as an imported drug under the name of Moderna Spikevax. However, the global pharmaceutical firm’s drug, “Spikevax,” which had a different name from “Moderna Spikevax,” needed to obtain a separate permit from the government to be supplied in the country.
With the Drug Ministry’s approval, Spikevak became the first Korean-made mRNA vaccine manufactured on a consignment basis. The ministry said it expects the latest approval to help Korea’s stable vaccine supply and provide a stepping stone for the country to become a global vaccine hub.
By Kan Hyeong-woo (email@example.com