KUALA LUMPUR: Duopharma Biotech Bhd has confirmed it will procure and supply to the Health Ministry the Covid-19 vaccine known as Sputnik V developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
In a statement today, Duopharma said its wholly-owned Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd (DMSB) had signed a term sheet agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to secure 6.4 million doses of Sputnik V.
RDIF is the appointed marketing agent for Gamaleya for all international markets.
RDIF has established partnerships in India, China and South Korea to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine in order to cope with the global growing demand for this vaccine.
Duopharma said supplies of the Sputnik V vaccine could be from any of RDIF’s partners, subject to approval by Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
Duopharma group managing director Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar said its latest initiative fully supports the Covid-19 National Vaccination Plan.
“Our investment in vaccine fill and finish facilities and cold chain distribution synchronously aligns both with the government’s recently announced aim to develop in-country vaccines in the long term to reduce dependency on other countries,” he said.
Besides that, Duopharma said together with RDIF and Gamaleya Institute, was exploring further collaboration to enhance its capabilities in research and development, technology transfer, local manufacturing, and supply of the vaccine to other Asean countries.
Subsequently, DMSB has also entered into a term sheet agreement with the MOH to supply 6.4 million doses to vaccinate 3.2 million Malaysians.
ThecSputnik V vaccine will be supplied in phases this year.
DMSB will also provide warehousing, logistics, ground support and other services to the government hospitals and clinics.
Leonard said the company had put in place an existing inert human vaccine fill and finish line at its plant in Klang, and it was ready to be used.
“We are also positioning ourselves to upgrade our facility to ensure the equipment will accommodate the localisation of vaccine manufacturing in Malaysia, which consequently can increase vaccine accessibility, reduce dependency on importation, and ensure long-term self-sufficiency of vaccines for the country.
“This is in line with our mission to become a leading healthcare group providing quality and innovative solutions,” he said.