South Korea Business Report 2022
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KOREAVACCINE brings more than 65 years of expertise in fortifying vaccine supply chains

  • South Korea’s largest provider of disposable medical products, KOREAVACCINE is playing a key role in the country’s bid to become a global vaccine hub
Supported by:Discovery Reports

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

South Korea proved its mettle as a world-class pharmaceutical powerhouse at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the deadly coronavirus took its toll globally, the country succeeded in mass producing Covid-19 test kits and licensing such products for immediate export. South Korea’s exemplary Covid-19 response led to US$3.64 billion worth of exports in 2020 alone, surging further last year as its top-quality products reached 185 countries worldwide.

At the forefront of this formidable industry is KOREAVACCINE with more than 65 years of expertise as a contract manufacturing organisation (CMO), contract sales organisation (CSO) and an accredited pharmaceutical control laboratory (CLO). It is the partner of leading pharmaceutical companies such as Japan BCG Laboratory, Seqirus and Pfizer in producing and distributing tuberculosis, influenza and other vaccines for the domestic market. In the medical devices space, KOREAVACCINE is South Korea’s largest provider of disposable products such as syringes, intravenous infusion sets, catheters and syringe needles because the brand is trusted by major university hospitals. Its disposable medical devices are also exported to Taiwan, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East, among others.

KOREAVACCINE’s facility in Ansan city, southwest of Seoul, is equipped with cold storage warehouses, and capable of freeze-drying 5 million products and manufacturing about 50 million pre-filled syringes annually through fully automated line systems. Built and operated in accordance with Current Good Manufacturing Practice and World Health Organization standards, it also houses the quality testing facility accredited by South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to prequalify imported drug and cosmetics products for local market sale. The Ansan facility also hosts a research and development centre that is dedicated to developing preventive drugs, diagnostics and environmental medicine in line with the company’s mission to serve mankind through disease prevention.

“Our quality system is well-known in the market and pretty much guaranteed,” says CEO Ha Sung-bae. “Because of the long history of bringing products into the market and providing the required services, our successful key point is the quality of manufacturing, testing and distribution.”

Already playing a key role in South Korea’s bid to be a global vaccine hub with its distinct expertise and capacity to mass-produce pre-filled syringes, KOREAVACCINE is further fortifying the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain potentially for Sinopharm and other developing vaccines.

“We are manufacturing the LDS (low dead space) syringes being procured for our government and also globally,” Ha says. “We are planning to match up with other vaccine makers to supply our LDS syringe with the corona vaccine to actually provide more doses just like what Pfizer is doing with its six-dose vaccine.”

As South Korea pursues its ambition to be among the world’s top seven pharmaceutical powers, KOREAVACCINE remains focused on producing, testing and distributing biopharmaceutical fillings for local and global markets. To this end, the company is investing US$30 million this year to augment its infrastructure for vaccine production.

“The company that can do the CMO business for vaccines should be experienced in its production and have manufacturing systems that are oriented to biological products,” Ha says. “It’s not like filling water into a prefilled syringe because the vaccine itself is volatile. You’re handling a very delicate biological product into a very specific kind of outer case, which is a vial or a pre-filled syringe.”

Through CMO, CSO and CLO services provided to more than 50 active clients, KOREAVACCINE supports not only domestic distribution but also product entry to global supply chains in more than 10 countries. The company welcomes new partnerships, especially with manufacturers venturing into vaccine development.

“Our infrastructure enables global market access,” Ha says. “KOREAVACCINE has the quality systems and more than 60 years of experience in vaccine supply chains. We can provide whatever new players need.”