S.Korea's SK bioscience to invest $132 mln to boost vaccine production

The word "COVID-19" is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration//File Photo

SEOUL, June 21 (Reuters) - South Korea's SK bioscience (302440.KS) said on Monday it plans to expand vaccine production by investing about 150 billion won ($132 million) by 2024 to add production capacity, as well as equipping its plant to make newer mRNA and viral vector vaccines.

The vaccine maker said in a statement it has signed an agreement with the government of North Gyeongsang Province and the city of Andong, about 190 km (118 miles) southeast of Seoul, to expand its plant there and buy new land.

SK bioscience said it plans to add some 99,130 square metres of additional production space in the area.

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Its Andong plant produces COVID-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) and Novavax Inc (NVAX.O).

The company said last week the facility had received European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification, enabling SK to export vaccines to Europe.

($1 = 1,138.5300 won)

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Reporting by Joyce Lee; editing by Richard Pullin

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