Samsung BioLogics has denied a recent report about the company engaging in talks with Pfizer to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
A report from Korea Economic Daily on 12 May 2021 stated that Pfizer was in talks with Samsung’s biotech arm to produce its COVID-19 vaccine under a contract manufacturing organisation scheme. The report further details that Samsung BioLogics was ramping up its facilities in their Songdo plant to manufacture the vaccine. The plant was said to be able to produce one billion doses for 500 million people a year.
The doses produced by the deal would help Korea and other Asian nations to secure more vaccines, the report stated. Additionally, a “high-level government source” claimed that Samsung will begin mass production of the vaccine by August at the earliest if all goes well.
The same Reuters report also quoted a statement from Pfizer stating that they have not engaged in discussions for any additional manufacturing outside the vaccine’s established supply lines at this time. However, there may be hope for an increased supply of Pfizer vaccines in the future. The American pharmaceutical company mentioned that it will evaluate all additional opportunities available “once the pandemic supply phase is over and we enter a phase of regular supplies”.
South Korea currently has a contract with Pfizer to purchase 66 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. The South Korean government originally bought 26 million doses in 2020 but bought 40 million more doses due to fears of spiking infection in the country. The South Korean government also has contracts with other vaccine-producing pharmaceutical companies like AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Written by John Paul Joaquin