Hanmi makes move into the mRNA CDMO space

Hanmi Fine Chemical says the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for RNA raw materials, causing it to launch CDMO services in relevant fields.

Hanmi Fine Chemical (Hanmi FC), a subsidiary of Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group, specializes in active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) development and production but is launching a new business to expand into the contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) space.

The company noted that the decision to move into the CDMO space has been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused an increase in demand for synthetic biopharmaceutical materials used in messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. This includes lipid nanoparticles (LNP), capping materials, polyethylene glycol (PEG) derivatives, nucleotides, and peptides.

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According to the firm, it will invest around 10 billion KRW ($7.9 million) to build what it dubs as “high-tech” CDMO facilities. Additionally, Hanmi FC said it is carrying out preclinical and clinical CDMO projects with 10 domestic and global companies, and it expects to form partnerships with more companies in the second half of this year.

Chang Young-kil, CEO of Hanmi FC said that the company is already of high-rank in Korea, has sufficient global competitiveness, and it is able to quickly develop materials that require advanced synthetic technology, like mRNA raw materials.

Furthermore, the company maintains it has conjured “global competitiveness” in the CDMO space by partaking in R&D activities for Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s biologics and anticancer drugs.

Last year, the Korean Government selected Hanmi FC to conduct its project for expanding manufacturing facilities for COVID-19 vaccines and raw materials and received 1.6 billion KRW ($1.2 million) in support of such efforts.