Vaccine equity affects people from all parts of the globe. Whether a country doesn’t have the resources to produce its own vaccine, or whether an individual lives in an isolated part of the world and is unable to travel to get the vaccine, sometimes it can be a challenge to receive inoculation against COVID-19. Yet in order to overcome the hurdles presented by the global pandemic, mass vaccinations must be achieved.
Pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) have all pledged in some way to help make mRNA vaccines more accessible to people in these situations. The solution to this problem may be as simple as making more vaccines and shipping them to places that ordinarily would not have the ability to acquire these doses.
Samsung Biologics, a leading CDMO, has joined with these companies and organizations to assist in the mass production of mRNA vaccines. Partnerships with leading makers of mRNA vaccines and expansion in their facilities have proven their commitment to making preventative vaccines available to all.
But more importantly, mRNA can be used for a wide variety of treatments for other conditions. Medical researchers have determined that mRNA might have some effect against diseases such as malaria and the zika virus. Executive VP, Chief Information and Marketing Officer, and Head of Investor Relations James Choi said, “We see great potential for mRNA technology to address a broader range of diseases, beyond COVID-19.”
Partnerships with Moderna and GreenLight Biosciences
Recently, Samsung Biologics established a partnership with the biotech company, Moderna, to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is one of the only vaccinations that has been demonstrated to help in preventing fatal illness. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, will be filled and finished commercially by Samsung Biologics, according to the company. This vaccine has had a very high rate of effectiveness against both COVID-19 and the delta variant of the virus that caused a great disruption around the world in 2021.
“This vaccine is paramount to people around the world in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and we truly appreciate our client Moderna for entrusting and choosing to partner with Samsung Biologics for the fill and finish of this important vaccine,” said John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics.
Furthermore, GreenLight Biosciences and Samsung Biologics also announced a partnership in November 2021. GreenLight aims to achieve vaccine equity throughout the world, and its Blueprint to Vaccinate the World aligns with other concrete actions to partner with a company dedicated to increasing manufacturing capacity and facilities around the world.
Already, Samsung Biologics has helped Korea, the country where its headquarters are located, to acquire more vaccines. In October, 2.43 million doses of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine that had been fill-finished, labeled, and packaged at Samsung Biologics were approved for use in Korea.
In recognition of all their efforts, Impactful Connections and Intelligence (IMAPAC) awarded Samsung Biologics the award for the Best Vaccine CMO of the Year at the Asia-Pacific Vaccine Excellence Award 2021(AVEA 2021).
“It’s an honor to receive this award and be recognized as a team for our efforts and capabilities to manufacture vaccines in a short time frame,” said David King, Director of Drug Product Operations at Samsung Biologics. “Samsung Biologics has grown tremendously within the past decade and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teams and also the clients for the generous support they have shown us to successfully manage the manufacturing processes throughout.”
More Work with mRNA in the Future
Samsung Biologics has already been extending its business portfolio and manufacturing capacity in order to fulfill the increasing demand in the market as part of its long-term development plan. The CDMO will be able to provide pharmaceutical businesses end-to-end mRNA vaccine production services from bulk drug substances through aseptic fill/finish, including labeling and packaging, and cold chain storage, when the new mRNA DS manufacturing facility is completed in the first half of 2022.
In the future, mRNA has great potential for medical research. Future research on mRNA vaccines may be able to defend against several viruses and diseases rather than just one. mRNA vaccines have been tested for flu, Zika virus, rabies, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Cancer research has taught mRNA how to activate the body’s own immune system to look for and kill cancerous cells, however. Non-contagious illnesses, as well as existing disorders, have seen a rise in the need for new treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. mRNA will likely continue to impact those in need of treatment to improve their quality of life, even after COVID-19.