South Korean chemical company LG Chem announced in March 2023 that it will supply essential vaccines for infants and young children to “solve global public health issues”. It won a supply contract worth a total of $200 million in a UNICEF bid with vaccines for polio and a pentavalent vaccine. The ambition with this contract is to supply vaccines for “approximately 80 million infants and children worldwide”.
LG Chem and its vaccines
LG Chem is described as the largest Korean chemical company, and is based in Seoul, South Korea. In 2017 it was ranked the 10th largest chemical company in the world by sales. Since the approval of its hepatitis B vaccine Euvax in 1996, LG Chem has been delivering essential vaccines for infants and children. In 2022 it reported a vaccine business year-on-year growth rate of over 20%.
In 2016 and 2020 the company received WHO Prequalification for Eupenta and Eupolio respectively. Eupenta is a pentavalent vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, and meningitis. Eupolio is a polio vaccine.
The contract covers $100 million worth of Eupolio for two years, starting in 2024, and $100 million worth of Eupenta for five years from 2023. LG Chem suggests that it “cemented its position as a major global supplier” by securing over 30% of the total procurement volume in the polio vaccine bid. It is actively investing in a facility to “boost the production of Eupolio” by over 60 million doses a year.
Park Heui-sul, Head of Speciality Care Business Unit at LG Chem, said they were able to win the order from UNICEF based on the agency’s “strong trust in LG Chem’s vaccine development and supply capabilities”.
“We will play a pivotal role in preventing infectious diseases in infants and young children around the globe by accelerating the development of both hexavalent vaccines and improved combination vaccines based on Eupolio.”
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