(CTN News) – In a statement, MODERNA, Inc. said that establishing a presence in the Philippines does not indicate that the company intends to manufacture vaccines in the Philippines in the near future.
At a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Patrick Bergstedt, senior vice-president and general manager of Moderna, told reporters that the company is still in the “crawling stage” of its Philippine operations, which currently consist of an upcoming shared services facility that will handle back-office and testing functions for the company.
Mr. Bergstedt was asked whether the Philippines facility is a precursor to the establishment of a local manufacturing operation during a question and answer session.
Any discussion beyond that would be premature at this time. When we say that crawling is the first step towards expansion (expanding), we should be realistic. Mr. Bergstedt stated that we are still in the crawling phase.
There is a conducive environment for innovation in the Philippines. The Philippines has a number of examples where businesses have innovated their sectors and advanced thinking, practices, processes, skills, and technology in their fields. It is something we are interested in participating in. The first phase will be that,” he stated.
However, Mr. Bergstedt pointed out that the Philippines’ strategic location might lend itself to a future expansion.
Perhaps a couple of years and then beyond that. In addition, the Philippines is ideally locateddistribution and Moderna logistics. It is therefore possible to envision strengthening the facility and bringing in some of the people who provide that capability,” Mr. Bergstedt explained.
The message to the Philippines is that this is a large country with more than a hundred million residents. As part of our selection process, we went through a rigorous process, and we intend to remain in the Philippines for the long term. Our goal is to continue to build upon that in the future,” he stated.
Approximately 40 to 50 jobs will be created at the shared service facility in the Philippines, according to Bergstedt.
There will be offices for finance, pharmacovigilance, medical, human resources, and commercial activities in the facility. Business services will be provided throughout Asia-Pacific.
Moderna, according to Mr. Bergstedt, is currently seeking approval from the Philippine government for a bivalent Coronavirus virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Moderna vaccine, as well as other vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus infections, as well as a combination of Moderna vaccines that provide protection against a variety of respiratory diseases.
As a result of its geographical location, the Philippines is well situated in the region.Several Asian countries where we are committed are relatively easy to reach from Manila.