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Celltrion promises production of trial coronavirus vaccine by end-July

Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin said Monday that the company will be ready to produce COVID-19 neutralizing antibodies by the end of July at the latest, at a capacity to cover 1 million people a month.

The company’s researchers are currently working day and night without weekends, Seo said, saying that it may even be possible to begin human administration for clinical trials in mid-July.

“It is our wish that Korea will become the first country to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world,” said Seo.

Celltrion is in talks with the “biggest contract manufacturing organization (CMO),” to avoid the potential vaccine production from affecting the manufacturing of its existing drugs.

Celltrion has drawn blood samples from seven recovered COVID-19 patients. From the six, the company was able to narrow down 300 antiviral candidates, according to the firm. Further filtering research will be conducted together with the nation’s disease controlling center and Chungbuk National University in an expedited manner, Seo said.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (