by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by BERNAMA
PHARMANIAGA Bhd has entered into an agreement with China’s Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd today for the supply of 14 million doses of Covid-19 in Malaysia.
Its MD Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said Pharmaniaga plans to bottle 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine per month starting next February before it will be distributed nationwide as early as March this year.
He added that about RM3 million was spent to improve its factory in Puchong for that purpose.
Under the agreement, Pharmaniaga will carry out the fill and finish process of the vaccine developed by Sinovac, which is one of the leading vaccine developers in China.
Zulkarnain said the project will be executed by Pharmaniaga’s wholly-owned subsidiary Pharmaniaga LifeSciences Sdn Bhd (PLS) at its small volume injectable high-tech plant in Puchong.
“Malaysia has yet to have the capability to develop vaccines locally. Thus today is a historical event for the country because through this partnership, our team will be trained on vaccine technology, as well as gain valuable experience from working with Sinovac’s leading scientists, so that Malaysia will have its own specialists in the formulation of vaccines in the near future.
“The technology transfer will further strengthen Pharmaniaga’s plan to set up the first halal vaccine plant in the world by 2023 which supports the government’s aspiration to reduce dependency on foreign companies in supplying vaccines for the rakyat,” he said during the signing ceremony between Pharmaniaga and Sinovac today.
Pharmaniaga will be utilising its existing facilities at PLS and its warehouses to store the vaccine, as it has to be stored between two and eight degrees Celsius.
The pharmaceutical company said it has 26 years of experience in managing vaccine distribution and has well established infrastructure to support the needs.
Meanwhile, Sinovac has completed its Phase 3 trials in Brazil and Turkey and is now in the process of getting approvals in those countries.
At noon break, Pharmaniaga’s share price gained six sen or 1.19% to RM5.10, valuing the company at RM1.33 billion.