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Vaxgen Creates Joint Venture With Three South Korean Companies to Manufacture AIDSVAX
VaxGen Inc., a U.S. biotech company with the only HIV vaccine candidate in advanced stages of testing, yesterday signed an agreement with three South Korean firms creating a joint venture to manufacture the vaccine, pending its approval by the FDA, the Associated Press reports. VaxGen will control 45% of the new company, Celltrion, while the remainder will be held by Nexol Biotech Co., J. Stephen & Co. and the state-run Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Corp. "We chose South Korea because it has a very good technology infrastructure and we received a very strong commitment from the business community," VaxGen CEO Lance Gordon explained. Construction of the plant, which will be located in the town of Incheon, west of Seoul, will begin in June, and the group hopes to have vaccine production and export started by June 2005, pending the vaccine's approval. The vaccine, AIDSVAX, is currently being tested in humans in North America, Europe and Thailand (Associated Press, 2/25).
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