S.Korea's Genexine signs COVID-19 vaccine candidate manufacturing deal with Hanmi

SEOUL, May 18 (Reuters) - Genexine Inc has signed a manufacturing deal for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate with Hanmi Pharm Co Ltd as it prepares to seek emergency use approval of the shot in South Korea and Indonesia, Genexine said on Tuesday.

Hanmi will begin producing 10 million doses of Genexine’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine in its biotech plant in Pyeongtaek, with an aim to gradually ramp up production capacity to millions of doses by 2022, Genexine said in a statement.

Hanmi said in a separate statement that the contract was worth 24.5 billion won ($22 million) and will be followed by additional supply deals.

Genexine is running a Phase 2a clinical trial of the experimental vaccine in South Korea on 150 healthy participants and plans global trials starting in Indonesia, the company said.

The company’s GX-19N COVID-19 vaccine candidate is a DNA based vaccine and showed no severe side effects.

In April, the vaccine developer signed a deal to supply 10 million doses of its vaccine to private Indonesian pharmaceutical firm Kalbe Farma.

Shares in Genexine were up 15% and Hanmi Pharm was up 5.3% as of 0250 GMT, outperforming a 1.1% rise in the wider market. ($1 = 1,131.6400 won) (Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Himani Sarkar)