Sweden's Recipharm signs deal to package Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus: On November 16, 2020, US biotech company Moderna announced a vaccine against COVID-19 that is 94.5% effective. Montreal, November 16, 2020

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish pharmaceuticals maker Recipharm said on Tuesday it had agreed a preliminary deal with Moderna Inc to fill and seal the packaging for the U.S drugmaker’s new COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna said last week its vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 - based on interim data from a late-stage trial - and that it would soon apply for emergency authorization to distribute it.

“We are incredibly happy about the collaboration with Moderna in this extremely important project in the fight against COVID-19,” Recipharm CEO Thomas Eldered said in a statement.

Shares in Recipharm were up 6% at 0814 GMT.

Unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, Moderna’s shot can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, which should make it easier to distribute.

The process of asceptically filling and sealing the packaging containing the vaccine will be carried out at Recipharm’s manufacturing unit in Monts, in central France, the company said.

“Our facility in France is ideal for this assignment, we offer a combination of technical and operational expertise,” Eldered said.

Reporting by Colm Fulton; editing by Niklas Pollard