LG Chem locks in $200M vaccine supply deal with UNICEF

Korea’s LG Chem is stepping up to the plate with a deal to manufacture essential vaccines for millions of infants and children.

The company has locked up a $200 million deal with the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to supply both its polio shot Eupolio and its pentavalent vaccine Eupenta, which protects against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and meningitis.

The contract is evenly split between supplies of both shots. The $100 million Eupolio contract provides supplies of the shot for the two years from 2024 to 2025, while LG Chem agreed to provide Eupenta for the five-year stretch from 2023 to 2027. The deal is expected to cover vaccines for roughly 80 million kids and infants around the world.

LG Chem credited the deal to its investment in a factory in Osong, Korea. The site can produce more than 60 million dodses of Eupolio per year, according to the company.

Beyond this deal, LG Chem plans to further cement its role in fighting infectious diseases by developing “improved” combination vaccines based on Eupolio, Park Heui-sul, head of LG Chem’s specialty care business unit, said in a statement.

The company has two hexavalent shots in the works: a combination of Eupolio and Eupenta, plus another vaccine that adds an improved form of acellular Pertussis (aP) to Eupolio.

LG Chem is on a mission to have its biopharma sector ring up 2 trillion won ($1.4 billion) in sales by 2027.

Recently, the company padded out its oncology pipeline with the purchase of Aveo Oncology for $566 million.

As for UNICEF, the group has leaned on vaccine makers of various sizes for its supply needs. Back in August, UNICEF handed GSK the first supply contract for its malaria vaccine Mosquirix. UNICEF is paying up to $170 million to access 18 million doses of the shot over the next three years.