Duopharma closes Sputnik V supply deal

by PRIYA VASU / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD

DUOPHARMA Biotech Bhd, through its wholly owned subsidiary Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd (DMSB), concluded the execution of separate definitive supply agreements with the government and a subsidiary of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for the supply of 6.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.

In a statement yesterday, Duopharma stated that the supply of the vaccine is subject to the fulfilment of the remaining condition precedent under the supply agreements, namely the approval of the vaccine by the Drug Control Authority of Malaysia and other terms and conditions of supply.

Duopharma announced on Jan 26, of the signing by DMSB of separate term sheets with the government and RDIF.

Sputnik V, which was developed by Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, has since been successfully registered in 68 countries across North and

South America, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Based on peer reviewed results of the second interim analysis Phase III published by one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals, The Lancet, Sputnik V’s efficacy has been confirmed at 91.6% for the treatment of Covid-19 infections.

“It is one of only three vaccines in the world with an efficacy rating of over 90%, and no serious adverse events related to the vaccine were recorded,” Duopharma noted.

According to RDIF, 20 million people have so far received the vaccine globally with emergency use authorisation registered in 64 countries.

In addition to providing full protection against severe cases of Covid-19, Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector-based platform.

The safety, efficacy and lack of negative long-term effects of adenoviral vector-based vaccines have been proven by more than 250 clinical studies over two decades.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented all Malaysians with extraordinary challenges, which we can only overcome through immediate collaboration on many fronts.

“Duopharma is fully committed and proud to be part of our nation’s inoculation programme,” said Duopharma group MD Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar.

Tun Dr Mahathir revealed on Monday that Putrajaya is being bureaucratic in accepting the deal for Sputnik V.

He claimed the Russian agency had been told to answer 400 questions.

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said the Health Ministry will sign an agreement with Duopharma on the procurement of the vaccine, which would also be evaluated by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.

Dr Mahathir also called on Putrajaya to use all possible avenues to speed up the vaccination rate in the country, noting the increase of Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks, with only 3% of the population having been inoculated.