Samsung Biologics offers no-response response to Moderna report

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Samsung Biologics offers no-response response to Moderna report

Samsung Biologics' headquarters in Incheon [YONHAP]

Samsung Biologics' headquarters in Incheon [YONHAP]

 
Samsung Biologics further muddied the waters about an unsourced report of it getting a contract to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines for Moderna, choosing not to definitively deny the news and advising the market that it would get around to offering clarification in a month or less.
 
The company’s stock jumped 9.47 percent Friday after local media reported the previous day that it would be awarded the contract by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company.  
 
“What was suggested in the article cannot be confirmed as there has been no decisions made,” the Korean bio firm said in a public filing, Friday. “We will make another announcement at a point when the details can be confirmed, or within a month.”
 
Its non-committal response greatly contrasts its earlier reaction to reports it had won a contract for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines. The company immediately denied the reports, with a definitive “not true” in a public filing on Wednesday.
 
In mid-April, Baek Young-ha, the health ministry official heading the vaccine procurement task force, told local reporters that a Korean pharmaceutical company was in talks to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine that was approved overseas. Mass production was to begin in Korea in August, he added.
 
At that point, AstraZeneca’s and Pfizer’s were the only Covid-19 vaccines approved for domestic use.
 
That same month, Moderna shared plans to set up offices in Korea, Japan and Australia and in May posted a job ad on its website for a general manager in Korea. 
 
On Thursday, Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine was approved by the second out of three advisory board committees required for approval.
 
The U.S. bio company is signed with the Korean government to supply vaccines for 20 million people from the second quarter. Korean firm GC Pharma will take charge of local distribution.
 
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON  [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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