KNIH Verifies Hanmi Fine Chemical’s mRNA Technology
Verification of the possibility of producing the core components of mRNA
Kwon Jun-wook, President of KNIH, and Kim Do-geun, Head of the Department of Research on Vaccines for Infectious Diseases, asking the representatives of Hanmi about the company’s mRNA technology. (Photograph = Courtesy of Hanmi Group)
The Korea National Institute of Health (KNIH) is visiting enterprises with key technologies related to messenger ribonucleuc acid (mRNA) for verification purposes.
Hanmi Group announced on July 1 that Hanmi Fine Chemical became the first company to undergo the KNIH’s mRNA technology verification process and demonstrated the technology applied to synthesize six key components of the material with broad therapeutic potential.
Through the field inspection, President Kwon Jun-wook of KNIH confirmed the company’s ability to mass produce the six materials based on the technology they have recently developed. He requested that the company continues to dedicate itself to enhancing its research and development (R&D) capabilities and contribute to developing a vaccine for the current pandemic.
“While our monthly production volume may vary, we are the only company with the ability to promptly supply ingredients for up to 300 million doses within 12 months, and we are capable of rapidly supplying the core components of mRNA, which is currently in short supply worldwide,” explained Lim Chong-yoon, President and Co-CEO of Hanmi Science.
Kim Do-geun, Head of the Department of Research on Vaccines for Infectious Diseases, said, “We, at Hanmi Fine Chemical, have confirmed the extent to which we have built our mRNA technology since last year,” and added, “I anticipate the possibility of companies and the government playing their respective roles and working together to develop Korea’s own mRNA-based vaccine.”
During the field inspection, it was revealed that Hanmi Science is currently working to participate in WHO’s efforts to build regional hubs to supply COVID-19 vaccines around the world. This stems from the Korea-US Global Vaccine Partnership agreed upon by the two heads of state this last May.
The project is aimed at setting up mass production bases to supply COVID-19 vaccines globally through WHO and COVAX. In June 21, WHO mentioned South Africa as the first potential location of the vaccine hub, announcing that the two parties are discussing the establishment of the first-ever tech transfer hub for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in South Africa.
Hanmi Science President Lim said, “We will have to wait and see what the final conclusion is, but we must pay attention to the fact that WHO is considering Korea as an important candidate to be a global vaccine hub.”
(From left) Jang Yeong-gil, President of Hanmi Fine Chemical, and Lim Chong-yoon, President of Hanmi Science, explaining the process of producing nucleic acids and nanolipid particles for the mRNA vaccine to KNIH President Kwon Jun-wook (Photograph=Courtesy of Hanmi Group)