September 27, 2022

South Korean pharmaceuticals company Samsung Biologics has announced to begin manufacturing of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 antibody combination Evusheld by expanding their earlier deal.

According to reports, 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 that was signed in September 2020.

About Evusheld –

• Evusheld was formerly known as AZD7442.
• The COVID-19 antibody is a combination of two long-acting antibodies, cilgavimab and tixagevimab.
• It has the effect of preventing coronavirus infections for those at an increased risk in receiving a vaccine dose due to a weakened immune system or underlying diseases.
• It is the first long-acting antibody combination that has received emergency use approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.
• Although South Korea has not approved the antibody yet, the Samsung Biologics-made coronavirus antibody combination will however be rolled out overseas.

According to the agreement, the South Korean pharmaceutical company will also begin manufacturing AstraZeneca’s oncology product, Imfinzi starting from next year.

John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics mentioned that they will support its clients by bringing innovative solutions to an array of diseases, and find ways together to expedite the delivery of crucial therapies to the market.

Kim Sang-pyo, CEO of AstraZeneca Korea commented that they will quickly solve the problem of COVID-19 and contribute to changing patients‘ lives by providing innovative anti-cancer drugs to the world more quickly.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on Monday announced that it has decided to approve the manufacturing and supply of Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, which is also produced by Samsung Biologics.

Earlier in May, the ministry had approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine as an imported drug under the name of Moderna Spikevax or “Spikevax”. However, the firm’s drug, “Spikevax,” needed to obtain a separate permit from the government to be supplied in the country.

Spikevak after the Drug Ministry’s approval became the first Korean-made mRNA vaccine manufactured on a consignment basis.

Lastly, the ministry mentioned that it expects the latest approval to help the country’s stable vaccine supply and provide a stepping stone for it to become a global vaccine hub.