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Aug 19, 2021 / 20:12

South Korean firm to distribute Vietnam's homegrown Covid-19 vaccine

HLB’s affiliate NextScience holds 10.4% of the Vietnamese vaccine developer Nanogen.

South Korean pharmaceutical company HLB signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Vietnamese firm to distribute Vietnam’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccine Nanocovax across the globe, except for Vietnam and India.

  HLB and Nanogen work for the deal. Photo: The Korea Times

Under the agreement inked between HLB and Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (Nanogen), the Korean company will be eligible to acquire technology transfer, sell vaccine, and carry out global marketing campaigns, the Korea Times reported.

The two companies plan to finish their negotiations once scientists representing each company finish reviewing the clinical data on Nanocovax within the next three months.

Nanocovax is the only Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine candidate conducting phase 3 clinical trials. Around 13,000 people in Vietnam are participating in the phase 3 trials, and Nanogen is waiting for the Vietnamese health ministry’s emergency use authorization for Nanocovax.

Nanocovax is a two-dose vaccine developed on the protein-based recombinant DNA technology. According to the producer, trials results and comparison analysis show Nanocovax has around 90% efficacy.

HLB said Nanocovax succeeded in increasing the antibodies of volunteers in its phase 2 clinical trials more than 60 times 35 days after the first injection, and by 34 times after three months. The company claimed that the vaccine is effective for the Alpha and Beta variants.

The clinical trial results for Nanocovax have been analyzed by Germany's Siemens Healthineers, which is regarded as a credible company in terms of data analysis.

 Nanocovax, Vietnam's homegrown Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: Nanogen

Nanocovax is set for approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) once it finishes its phase 3 trials, according to HLB. The Vietnamese firm submitted a vaccine sample to the WHO in July.

HLB Chairman Jin Yang-gon is one of the directors of Nanogen, while his company’s affiliate, NextScience, also holds a 10.4% stake in Nanogen, the third-largest shareholder.

“We will open the door to the domestic and overseas vaccine market by securing the global rights of Nanocovax, which has proven its high efficacy and safety amid the growing disruption in the vaccine supply worldwide,” Jin said in a press release.

Nanogen Chairman Ho Nhan said: “Vietnam is the fourth vaccine producer in Asia, with a 126-year history of vaccine development. We highly value HLB’s previous experiences in the bio industry.”

Earlier this month, one of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Vekaria Pharmaceutical Group, inked a deal with Nanogen to supply Nanocovax to the world’s second-most populous country.