SEOUL -- Shares of GC Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company in South Korea, rose on expectations that it may produce COVID-19 vaccines on a consignment production deal with U.S. biotech company Moderna, which has agreed to supply vaccine doses for 20 million people to South Korea starting in the second quarter of 2021.
GC Pharma was up 12.95 percent to trade at 40,550 won ($37.3) in mid-day trading on December 30. Other South Korean companies mentioned as candidates for Moderna's consignment production included Hanmi Pharmaceutical and ST Pharm.
GC has signed a facility usage agreement with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) for the production of 500 million doses if Moderna and other companies succeed in developing COVID-19 vaccines. CEPI is an international foundation that takes donations to finance independent research projects to develop vaccines.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel promised to supply vaccine doses for 20 million people in a videoconference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on December 28. Moon and Bancel agreed to cooperate in research and development as well as the consignment production of Moderna vaccines by South Korean firms. The presidential official quoted Bancel as saying that his company can build mass production capacity through partnership with South Korean companies.
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