Moderna To Open Office In Hong Kong
HONG KONG – In a bid to expand its commercial presence in Asia to take advantage of the region’s health care market, Moderna announced that it will open an office in Hong Kong, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday morning (16 February, SGT).
The Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical specialist in RNA therapeutics and mRNA vaccines revealed that it intends to recruit around 1,000 staff initially in Hong Kong, using the Chinese territory as its gateway to mainland China.
“Asia is a very important region, [and] it has the most exciting demographics and growth in the world,” Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel told the SCMP via a webcast interview.
“As we look to 2022, we see Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore [as] the next natural growth factor,” he added.
Along with the mRNA shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna’s mRNA jab was among the earliest government-approved vaccines against COVID-19. Its Asian expansion comes as the more infectious Omicron variant spreads in the region.
The move is also expected to benefit Hong Kong, which is imposing harsher measures due to the recent COVID-19 outbreaks after the city’s economy rebounded from its worst economic recession. Unemployment is slated to spike, as thousands of businesses, such as eateries, close or suspend operations because of stringent social distancing rules to tackle the outbreak.
Notably, Moderna’s office in Hong Kong office will support the distribution of Moderna’s mRNA vaccines in the city and in Macau, in addition to creating partnerships for the development of new vaccines that are crucially needed in the region, noted Bancel.
With new offices in Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia, the company’s new office in Hong Kong will help it increase its global footprint beyond 12 regions and countries, where it currently has a presence. For 2022, the firm expects to deliver US$18.5 billion orders worldwide, after delivering 807 million doses last year.