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Moon, CureVac CEO discuss vaccine partnership

President Moon Jae-in during his visit to the Vienna City Hall on Tuesday. (Cheong Wa Dae)
President Moon Jae-in during his visit to the Vienna City Hall on Tuesday. (Cheong Wa Dae)
VIENNA/SEOUL – President Moon Jae-in and German pharmaceutical company CureVac’s CEO Franz-Werner Hass discussed ways to bolster vaccine partnership during a virtual meeting Tuesday. No new deal was immediately disclosed.

Their 20-minute videoconference came on the heels of Moon’s summit talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G-7 gathering in Cornwall, England on Saturday, during which the leaders agreed to seek synergy between Korea, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of biomedicines, and Germany, one of the leading vaccine developers.

Moon held the video call from Vienna where he is currently on a state visit.

With an aim to host a global vaccine production hub in Korea, Moon has been holding a series of meetings with CEOs of global vaccine makers over the past weeks. He met with Novavax CEO Stanley Erck and Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel during his visit to the US last month, and Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, last week at the G-7.

While the three drugmakers are producing vaccines in Korea through local manufacturers, Korea and CureVac have signed no such deals so far.

CureVac is a newcomer in the COVID-19 vaccine market whose messenger RNA-based vaccine, called CVnCoV, is now in a late-stage trial. Its major confirmed supply deals include 405 million doses with the European Union and 20 million doses with Germany.

According to Cheong Wa Dae’s readout of the call, Moon stressed Korea’s plans for a global vaccine production hub that would scale up vaccine production for the global supply. 

The CureVac CEO also expressed his full support for the vaccine hub plans and then the president asked for him to consider Korea as a possible production base for the upcoming vaccine. 

Seoul officials said the Korean government and CureVac agreed to continue cooperation on vaccines on the occasion of the latest meeting. 

By Lee Ji-yoon and Joint Press Corps (