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SEOUL, May 14 ― Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd said today that no decision has been made yet on producing Moderna Inc's Covid-19 vaccine in South Korea after a local newspaper reported the two companies had agreed on a contract manufacturing deal.
The Chosun Ilbo reported that the biotech arm of Samsung Group has agreed to produce the Moderna vaccine in its plant in Songdo, part of which will be used for domestic vaccination, citing unnamed government and pharmaceutical industry sources.
Samsung BioLogics said in a filing to the stock exchange that it could confirm the report as no decision has been finalised. The decision will be made within a one-month time frame, a company official told Reuters by phone.
Moderna was not immediately available for comment.
Samsung BioLogics' shares today rose as much as 4.9 per cent to 908,000 won (RM3,317.58) in morning trade, versus the broader market KOSPI's 0.7 per cent rise.
The statement follows a denial by Samsung and Pfizer Inc earlier this week of another media report that the two companies were working together to produce a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the US firm and its German partner BioNTech .
The Moderna shot has yet to be approved in South Korea, but the second of three expert panels recommended approval for emergency use of the vaccine yesterday, based on its safety and efficacy in Phase 3 late-stage trials in the United States.
South Korea has reported 747 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 130,380, with death toll of 1,893.
Just over 7 per cent of the country's population have received at least one dose of AstraZeneca Plc or Pfizer vaccine, as it aims to vaccinate over 70 per cent of the residents by September and attain herd immunity by November. ― Reuters
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