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Korea speeds up developing coronavirus-related products
  • By Shim Hyun-tai
  • Published 2020.08.20 17:58
  • Updated 2020.08.20 17:58
  • comments 0

The government plans to accelerate the development of Covid-19 diagnostic kits, treatments, and vaccines amid the second wave of the virus outbreaks in Korea and the world.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute said Wednesday that they are recruiting cooperative institutions to support companies to win regulatory approval for Covid-19 test kits as well as help those which are developing treatments and vaccines by providing manufacturing facilities.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute will help private companies win the regulatory nod for Covid-19 test kits and develop treatments and vaccines. (MOHW)

The health and welfare ministry plans to organize a supportive network for clinical evaluation necessary to develop and approve in vitro diagnostic medical devices with about 10 institutions, which can collect samples and perform clinical performance tests from Wednesday to Sep. 2.

The supervisor must be a medical institution designated as a clinical performance tester or referral laboratory according to the In Vitro Diagnostic Regulation. Such an institution can build a consortium with other parties having clinical samples if necessary.

The selected institutions can receive funds up to 140 million won ($118,000) to help finance preparing equipment for collecting and storing samples as well as securing personnel and operating professionals.

The ministry will focus on supporting test kit developers to commercialize new technologies for simultaneously diagnosing Covid-19 and flu, and obtain permits.

Upon the completion of recruitment, the ministry plans to expand the range of support from helping them export developed products to winning formal item licenses.

Concerning treatment and vaccine development, the ministry and the institute will put to public notice specific tasks subject for government support from Wednesday to next Friday.

The ministry has secured an R&D fund of 10 billion won from the government budget to aid domestic companies to speed up the development of Covid-19 treatments and vaccines.

The Korea Innovative Medicines Consortium, founded by members of the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association, will comprehensively evaluate the appropriateness of research plans, excellence in capability, and expected effects of the support and select the two finalists among applicants.

Companies owning facilities with good manufacturing practice (GMP) for producing infectious disease treatments and vaccines can apply for this project.

An evaluation committee composed of experts will select the final companies among applicants in September, and the project will begin in earnest in October after reviewing national research facilities and equipment.

“Developing treatments and vaccines lining with smooth production and supply is essential to terminate the Covid-19 era completely,” said Lim In-ta다, director of the ministry’s Health Industry Policy Division. “This project will help Korean companies develop Covid-19 drugs and vaccines and serve as an opportunity to participate in the global supply chain and production.”


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