South Korean biopharma company Green Cross
has taken the lead in the global chickenpox vaccine market by winning a major order from the Pan American Health Organization.
Green Cross said on Jan.3 that it has secured a $60 million order to supply its varicella -- the virus that causes chickenpox -- vaccine, to PAHO from 2017-2018. This amounts to around 66 percent of the agency’s total varicella vaccine procurement quota.
Under the new contract, the Korean drugmaker will export its varicella vaccines to countries in South and Central America, the company said.
“We have once again reaffirmed the competitiveness of Green Cross in the global chickenpox vaccine procurement market,” Green Cross CEO Huh Eun-chul said in a statement.
PAHO, an agency under the World Health Organization, is the world’s biggest vaccine buyer alongside UNICEF. Every year, the two agencies announce procurement bids to acquire vaccines in advance for global distribution.
In 2017, Green Cross plans to continue expanding its two main businesses -- plasma-derived biopharmaceuticals and vaccines -- as well as break into more developed markets in the West.
The company plans to build upon its achievements in 2016, including obtaining the WHO’s prequalification approval for its quadrivalent influenza vaccine, which is able to protect against four strains of influenza.
The prequalification approval grants the company eligibility to join the UN’s procurement bid for four-strain influenza vaccines. Previously, Green Cross had been exporting only three-strain flu vaccines, on a large scale.
Green Cross is also expected to draw closer to winning the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval for its immunodeficiency drug IVIG-SN next year.
In December, the drugmaker was asked to submit supplementary data regarding its biologics license application for IVIG-SN. It expects the drug to be approved without issue once the required additions are filed.
This year, Green Cross will also continue the phase 3 trials of its hemophilia A treatment, GreenGene F, which began in July last year.
By Sohn Ji-young/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org