Samsung Biologics and Boston-based biotech firm GreenLight Biosciences have teamed up to help make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to people in poor countries, especially in Africa, the Korean pharmaceutical company said Thursday.
Under a contract manufacturing deal signed earlier in the day, Samsung Biologics will produce drug substances for GreenLight’s messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The drugmaking unit of Samsung Group said it is adding new production facilities to its plant in Songdo, Incheon, with the aim of getting manufacturing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration by the first half of next year.
As part of the deal, the two companies also agreed to beef up research and manufacturing efforts to distribute more COVID-19 vaccines for underdeveloped countries.
GreenLight Biosciences plans to finalize a separate partnership deal with a local partner in Africa and to start the phase 1 trials for clinical use as early as from the first quarter of next year.
“We are delighted to partner with GreenLight to leverage our expertise in manufacturing a messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate to better serve patients in lower income countries,” said John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics.
“We will actively support GreenLight’s efforts to contribute to expanding global vaccine distribution.”