Prime minister visits Samsung Biologics, discusses vaccines

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Prime minister visits Samsung Biologics, discusses vaccines

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, second from right, and John Rim, third from right, CEO of Samsung Biologics, listen to an explanation about the company's manufacturing facilities in Yeonsu District, Incheon, on Friday. [NEWS1]

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, second from right, and John Rim, third from right, CEO of Samsung Biologics, listen to an explanation about the company's manufacturing facilities in Yeonsu District, Incheon, on Friday. [NEWS1]

 
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum encouraged Samsung Biologics to take an active role in helping Korea achieve “vaccine sovereignty,” during his visit to the company's plant in Yeonsu District, Incheon, Friday.
 
“I deeply realized how important a vaccine is in protecting people’s lives,” Kim said during the visit. “I hope Samsung Biologics could play an active role in helping Korea achieve vaccine sovereignty.”
 
Kim visited the Samsung Biologics plant in Incheon to review the company’s vaccine manufacturing facilities and listen to people at the sites as part of efforts to make Korea a global hub for vaccines.
 
In late May, Samsung Biologics signed a deal with Moderna to manufacture the U.S. pharmaceutical company’s Covid-19 vaccines in Korea. The Korean company is expected to start bottling in the third quarter.
 
It was Kim's second visit to a vaccine facility since he visited SK Bioscience’s research laboratory in Gyeonggi late last month. SK Bioscience is currently developing its own Covid-19 vaccine and has recently won approval to start the Phase 3 clinical trials — the last required for a vaccine.
 
After the tour, Kim hosted a discussion session with Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim, Rhee In-yong, president of the corporate communications team at Samsung Electronics, and Ko Han-sung, CEO of Samsung Bioepis. Many experts, including James Park, senior vice president at the Samsung Biologics global business development center, Kim Dong-joong, managing director at the business support center, and Kim Yong-sin, vice president and managing director at the global support center, participated in the event.
 
“I sincerely appreciate Samsung Biologics employees who have been giving full support in various fields, like vaccines and treatment, amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” Kim said. “Samsung Group demonstrated its ambitious vision to make achievements in the bio industry and create jobs for younger people.”
 
“I hope the company could be thoroughly prepared for the next generation as much as it largely contributes to people’s lives.”
 
Samsung Biologics runs three plants in Songdo and is currently building the fourth plant, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023. The fourth will bring annual production capacity to 620,000 liters, which the company says is equivalent to nearly 30 percent of the global contract manufacturing market for bio pharmaceuticals.

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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