President Moon Jae-in paid a visit to SK Bioscience on Thursday to encourage researchers working on a COVID-19 vaccine.
He stressed the importance of South Korea developing its own treatments, even if the country imports them, and promised more government support.
"We need to build up experience through the development process and also lower prices. The government has injected around 183 million U.S. dollars to support the costs of clinical trials and development, and we have drawn up a budget for next year of around 244 million U.S. dollars, which is a 19% increase from this year."
The vaccine unit of SK Group has been manufacturing the antigen component of an experimental vaccine, and is entering phase one of clinical trials this month.
SK Bioscience is engaged in talks to produce vaccines for globally renowned biotech firms like Novavax.