By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Pharmaniaga Berhad (Pharmaniaga) on Saturday marked its entrance into the vaccine international market by successfully exporting the first batch of Sinovac filled and finished COVID-19 vaccine to Myanmar, manufactured by its wholly-owned subsidiary European Union certified high-tech plant, Pharmaniaga LifeScience Sdn Bhd (PLS).

In Myanmar, the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine will be marketed by Hemas Mandalar Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Hemas Mandalar), a Myanmar-based pharmaceutical company, which has placed an initial order of 200,000 doses of filled and finished Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine from Pharmaniaga.

Recently, both companies have signed a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) for Pharmaniaga to supply the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to two private hospitals owned by Hemas Mandalar in Yangon.

The delivery was made upon the approval of Myanmar's Food and Drugs Authority.

Pharmaniaga Group Managing Director Datuk Zulkarnain said the collaboration with Hemas Mandalar would help to accelerate Myanmar’s private market vaccination programme.

As of 31 October 2021, Myanmar is reported to have 13 percent of its population completely vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

"We are pleased and grateful to have successfully delivered our first international delivery as well as our first batch of filled and finished Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to Hemas Mandalar. The total supply of 200,000 doses of vaccine will be delivered in a few stages starting the 13th of November.

"This opportunity to collaborate with one of the leading pharmaceuticals companies in Myanmar will hopefully further strengthen our business relationship that has recently been established and perhaps develop successful new businesses by fully utilising both of our strengths in the future," he said.

Datuk Zulkarnain said the export of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines gives confidence to Pharmaniaga to further explore similar opportunities in other South East Asia (SEA) neighbouring countries and also the African countries.

"We are very excited with this international venture as the world has high regards for Malaysia that has an excellent track record in managing its vaccination programme, after achieving more than 90% vaccination rate of its adult population way ahead of schedule. We are also waiting for regulatory approvals in other countries, similar to the collaboration in Myanmar where the agreement had been signed much earlier, but the delivery is only made now upon approval.

"Pharmaniaga's significant role in helping the Malaysian Government to achieve that success has given the confidence to our overseas partner to market the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine that we fill and finish in Malaysia.

"The war against the pandemic requires a global effort that crosses all borders, and Pharmaniaga is committed with all the expertise and capabilities to support it," he said.

Datuk Zulkarnain extended his gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the Group to the Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Minister of Health YB Khairy Jamaluddin and Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) YB Dato' Dr Adham Baba for the trust and confidence placed in Pharmaniaga to manufacture and export Sinovac fill and finish COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia and soon to penetrate world's market.

"We also wish to express thank you to our international partner, Sinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd., for their continuous support, trust and technology transfer opportunity to manufacture fill and finish Sinovac COVID-19 in Malaysia as well as an ongoing halal vaccine as Pharmaniaga is amongst the 5th companies in the world to have the facility, product registration holder and the sole distributor of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine."

To date, Pharmaniaga has distributed a total of 20.4 million doses of both finished and fill and finish Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines to 10 million or one-third (38.7 percent) of the population in Malaysia.

Pharmaniaga is the leading pharmaceutical Company of Boustead Holdings Berhad group of companies, and together with Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, are the major shareholders of the company.