President Moon Jae-in (L) talks with Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel (on the monitor) via video conference at the presidential office in Seoul on Dec. 28, 2020, in this photo provided by the office. (Presidential office)
Five South Korean biotech companies are pushing for phase three clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines in the second half of this year, the health ministry said Monday.
The government plans to inject about 68.7 billion won ($61 million) this year for the clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines by SK Bioscience Co., EuBiologics Co., Cellid, Genexine and GeneOne Life Science, the ministry said.
The ministry made the announcement in a report to President Moon Jae-in.
Also Monday, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has received the application from South Korean biotech company GC Pharma for the approval of US biotech firm Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
In February, GC Pharma was selected as the company responsible for approval and distribution of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea.
In December, Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel agreed to supply COVID-19 vaccine doses for 20 million people to South Korea during a videoconference with Moon. (Yonhap)