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SK Chemicals shares soar on AstraZeneca deal

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : July 21, 2023 - 16:19

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SK Chemical’s headquarters (SK Chemicals) SK Chemical’s headquarters (SK Chemicals)

Shares of SK Chemicals soared sharply Friday, a day after the chemicals and drug developer announced that it signed a contract manufacturing deal for British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company AstraZeneca’s diabetes medicines.

Its shares started at 79,800 won ($62.27) as of 9 a.m., a 23 percent jump from the previous trading day. In the afternoon, the stocks were traded slightly lower at 72,200 won, still up around 11 percent from a day ago.

In its regulatory filing made Thursday afternoon after the stock market closed, SK Chemicals said it will produce AstraZeneca’s diabetes treatment Sidapvia at its Korean facility in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.

The company added it will also be responsible for distributing the drugs in Korea, while AstraZeneca will seek regulatory approvals for its sales in overseas markets.

The size of the deal was not disclosed.

AstraZeneca’s Sidapvia is a diabetes treatment combining the company’s blockbuster SGLT-2 inhibitor Forxiga and DPP-4 inhibitor. The drug was developed in partnership with SK Chemicals after signing an agreement in 2020.

Sidapvia earned its first marketing approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety here earlier this month, as a type 2 diabetes medication for adults aged 18 years and older.