Fri, Apr 26, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Adimmune shares surge after first H7N9 flu case

RAPID MASS PRODUCTION:The chairman said the firm would be able to produce 3 million units of H7N9 avian influenza vaccine per month once it is developed

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Shares of human vaccine maker Adimmune Corp (國光生技), which has extensive experience producing the vaccine for H1N1 avian flu, soared by the daily limit yesterday after the nation’s first H7N9 case was confirmed on Wednesday.

Shares closed 6.97 percent higher at NT$49.3, the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s data showed.

EXPECTATIONS

The company yesterday said it expected to finish developing the preliminary vaccine for H7N9 avian flu by August after it is expected to obtain a vaccine strain from the WHO or The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by early June.

Under regular procedures, the vaccine could be put into mass production by November after clinic trials are completed, but if the government decides to expedite the process in order to stop an outbreak, the company can start manufacturing it after August, Adimmune spokesman Peter Pan (潘飛) said by telephone.

CAPACITY

The company has the capacity to produce 3 million units of preliminary H7N9 vaccine per month after the vaccine is developed, Pan said.

However, it is still unclear how many units of the vaccine the government will need, and how much help the government is willing to offer to developing the vaccine, he said.

“Maybe the government will decide that no vaccine is needed, and our investment would generate no return,” Pan said.

Although the different vaccines the company produces have different profit margins, Pan said the company will develop the preliminary vaccine of H7N9 regardless of its profit margin.

LOSS MAKING

Despite its shares soaring 37.71 percent so far this year, Adimmune remains a loss-making company.

The company reported losses of NT$603.68 million (NT$3.4 per share) last year, 28 percent more than the NT$471.32 million losses (NT$2.87 per share) it posted a year ago, which the company attributed to lower profit margins for flu vaccines.

The company’s revenue was NT$6.64 million last quarter, down 79.06 percent from NT$31.69 million a year ago and 95.73 percent from NT$155.59 million a quarter ago.

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