Saudi Pharma Climbs to Five-Year High on Covid Pact With CureVac

Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corp. surged to the highest level in more than five years after signing a pact to supply CureVac NV’s coronavirus vaccine in the kingdom.

The shares closed 5.5% higher in Riyadh, taking the gain for the year to 58%. The benchmark Tadawul index rose 0.2%.

The non-binding memorandum of understanding with CureVac includes the possibility of extending the supply and distribution rights in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman, the company said. Saudi Pharmaceutical said it’ll determine the financial impact of the deal after obtaining approvals and signing the final deal.

Saudi Pharma Climbs to Five-Year High on Covid Pact With CureVac

CureVac’s coronavirus vaccine showed a good immune response in early trials and its chief executive officer said advanced clinical trials are on track to start by year-end. The European Union has agreed to pay $11.84 per dose for an initial supply of 225 million doses of CureVac’s vaccine candidate, Reuters reported earlier this month.

The company has spent two decades investigating the potential of messenger RNA, in which a vaccine or drug teaches the body’s cells to identify and create its own substances to ward off disease. Two other frontrunner vaccine developers are also betting on mRNA -- Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE, and the U.S. biotech firm Moderna Inc.

Saudi Arabia’s deputy health minister said earlier this month the kingdom is working on a plan to obtain sufficient amounts of coronavirus vaccines.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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