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South Korea-based SK bioscience and the Thailand state-owned pharmaceutical company the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to bolster vaccine infrastructure in Thailand.

The deal will enhance the country’s pandemic response system, aiming to produce Thailand’s vaccines locally. It will then be expanded to the wider southeast Asian region.

The two companies will support vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities in Thailand, working together closely in the mid-to-long-term to support the country as a vaccine hub in southeast Asia. 

SK bioscience will transfer its cell culture-based influenza vaccine’s production and manufacturing technology to the GPO’s facility.

Following this technology transfer, SK bioscience will provide the vaccine’s processes to the Thai company, which will seek marketing authorisation from the regulators.

The vaccines produced will be used for the national vaccination drive in Thailand.

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By GlobalData

GPO managing director Dr Mingkwan Suphannaphong stated: “A MoU-signing ceremony between GPO and SK bioscience today substantially contributes to a collaboration on manufacturing the cell-culture based influenza vaccine locally in Thailand, namely the trivalent and quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines.

“The drug substance bulk produced by SK will be initially delivered to GPO prior to making the drug products.”

In June 2023, SK bioscience and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity entered a research partnership to develop a next-generation influenza vaccine.