Hanmi Science Joins Forces with AstraZeneca Team at Oxford to Prepare Against Future Pandemics


Hanmi Science signed a R&D agreement with the University of Oxford on October 26 (local time) to prevent new and variant infectious diseases. University of Oxford VC Louise Richardson (left) and Hanmi Science CEO Lim Chong-yoon (left) signed the agreement at a ceremony held at Oxford. (Courtesy of Hanmi Science)

Hanmi Group joined forces with the University of Oxford, which developed AstraZeneca, a COVID-19 vaccine, in order to prepare against future pandemics.

The joint research agreement was signed by Lim Chong-yoon, CEO of Hanmi Science, and Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, in the presence of Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, the head of the Oxford vaccine development group, and others.

Hanmi Group plans to collaborate with the University of Oxford on building big data, developing and manufacturing products, supplying products worldwide, and pursuing human resources development, in addition to conducting research to develop vaccines for various infectious diseases.

It is expected that with the technological prowess of Hanmi Group, one of Korea’s leading pharmaceutical companies, and the research capacity of Oxford, it will be possible to secure advanced vaccine technology and enter into global markets. The ultimate goal of Hanmi Group is to contribute to achieving “vaccine sovereignty,” a concept that garnered much attention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hanmi Science (KRW 58,500; ▽ 800, -1.4%), the parent company of Hanmi Pharm (KRW 270,000, ▽3,000, -1.1%), announced that it has concluded an R&D agreement with the University of Oxford to prevent new and variant infectious diseases to prepare against future pandemics.

The agreement was signed at the University of Oxford on October 26 (local time), with CEO Lim Chong-yoon, CEO of Hanmi Science, Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, and others present. The agreement was signed by CEO Lim and VC Dame Richardson, who expressed their commitment to the joint research.

The agreement consisted of eight types of collaboration: discovery and verification of various candidates for mRNA vaccines, which were the first type of vaccine to be commercialized for COVID-19, as well as plant-derived vaccines, DNA vaccines, and viral vector vaccines; global clinical trials; production, etc.

The two parties will also collaborate on mass-producing vaccines, supplying vaccines to low-income countries, establishing and utilizing a big data center, and promoting human resources development.

Professor Sir Pollard and Mr. Lim agreed to submit an investigational new drug (IND) application to the US FDA in the first half of 2022 after conducting additional toxicity studies and process improvement research on three mRNA candidates that have already been secured. They will be leveraging the global clinical trial experiences and networks of Hanmi Pharm and the University of Oxford as a strategy.

CEO Lim noted the inefficiency of decentralization production systems where the active ingredient and stock solution production and bottling processes carried out at various locations and emphasized the need to establish a centralized development and production facility and maintain a research partnership between Hanmi and Oxford.

VC Dame Richardson pointed out that many countries, especially developing countries, are facing barriers to securing COVId-19 vaccines and that they must help tackle this issue with a sense of responsibility. She explained that the university decided to partner up with Hanmi Science to conduct joint research and prepare against future pandemics together.

A consensus was reached on the fact that COVID-19 vaccines were approved relatively quickly and even the vaccines that have already been commercialized require further clinical research.

Meanwhile, Hanmi Group has formed the Hanmi Science Consortium with the participation of Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Coree Company, GeneOne Life Science, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, BioApp Green Vaccine, Herings Digital Medical, Myongji Medical Foundation, GS Neotek, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), and Pohang City with the aim of supplying biologics, including vaccines, worldwide.

A representative from Hanmi Science said, “It’s not possible to become a global vaccine hub with just contract-based production alone. [...] There is a need to secure the research and technological capacity to develop and produce next-generation vaccines, and the collaboration between Hanmi Group and the University of Oxford will help achieve vaccine sovereignty and allow Korean pharmaceutical companies expand into the global market.”

He added, “We are about to get over a major hurdle in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have yet to come up with a fundamental solution for all kinds of infectious diseases that can break out in the future. [...] The collaboration with the University of Oxford will become an impetus for Hanmi Pharmaceutical to achieve a competitive advantage against other domestic companies engaging in contract-based production by securing R&D infrastructure and a global clinical research network to perform the entire process on its own from active ingredient development to mass production.”

Source: Money Today