Samsung Biologics said Friday that it has signed a letter of intent with Vir Biotechnology of the United States to mass-produce the new coronavirus treatment valued at 440 billion won ($364 million).
Samsung Biologics will begin to make the drug at its third plant in 2021, starting with the technology transfer this year.
Vir, which specializes in the therapeutics of infectious diseases, is developing a monoclonal antibody for COVID-19 treatment, by isolating antibodies from recovered Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) patients.
The candidate agent, SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody, binds to the spike protein used by the COVID-19 virus to infiltrate the human body and neutralizes the virus.
Vir noted that its COVID-19 treatment had won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on a fast-track basis, and the company found Samsung Biologics as a reliable supplier.
Vir CEO George Scangos said the company is preparing for large-scale production “as soon as the FDA verifies the therapy’s efficacy and safety.”
Samsung Biologics CEO Kim Tae-han also said, “We will do our best to supply COVID-19 treatments to patients around the world suffering from coronavirus, quickly and reliably based on our cutting-edge production facilities,”
The contract is the single biggest amount posted since the company was listed on Korea Exchange in 2016, Kim added.
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>