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UPDATE 2-Samsung BioLogics denies report on Pfizer vaccine production

UPDATE 2-Samsung BioLogics denies report on Pfizer vaccine production

05/11/2021 20:05
UPDATE 2-Samsung BioLogics denies report on Pfizer vaccine production

Adds Pfizer statement and South Korean health authorities comment in paragraphs 4-6

- Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd 207940.KS said on Wednesday 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 said its current production strategy was centred on its two dedicated supply lines in the U.S. and Europe, which exclusively manufacture its vaccine for global use.

"At this time we are not in discussions for any additional manufacturing outside these established supply lines for this vaccine," Pfizer said in a statement. "Once the pandemic supply phase is over and we enter a phase of regular supplies, Pfizer will certainly evaluate all additional opportunities available.”

South Korea's central disaster management headquarters in charge of COVID-19 vaccine procurement said it was not in a position to comment on the report.

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; additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Jane Wardell)

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