UPDATE 1-Samsung BioLogics denies report on Pfizer vaccine production
Recasts and updates throughout with Samsung BioLogics denial
SEOUL, May 12 (Reuters) - Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd 207940.KS on Wednesday said a report it was in talks with Pfizer Inc PFE.N to begin production of the U.S. drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea as early as in August was "not factual."
The Korea Economic Daily reported earlier that the biotech arm of Samsung Group had been revamping production lines at its plant in Songdo to produce the Pfizer vaccine, which was jointly developed by BioNTech BNTX.O. The plant had the capacity to make up to 1 billion doses per year, the report said, quoting an unnamed high-level government official.
Samsung BioLogics said in a one-line filing to the stock exchange that the report was "not factual". The company did not respond to requests for more detail.
Pfizer and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) in charge of COVID-19 vaccine procurement were not immediately available for comment.
South Korea has a contract with Pfizer to purchase 66 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. The country also has contracts to acquire a total of 192 million doses from other developers including Moderna Inc MRNA.O, AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L, Johnson & Johnson's JNJ.N and Novavax NVAX.O.
(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; editing by Jane Wardell)