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BIOHLDG (0179): BIOALPHA HOLDINGS BHD to join vaccine distribution bandwagon

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 25): Integrated health supplement company Bioalpha Holdings Bhd’s unit has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zueling Pharma Sdn Bhd (ZP) to facilitate the importation, warehousing and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Bioalpha said the MoU enables the company to expand its business into distribution of vaccines for Covid-19, which has favourable prospects due to the pandemic.

“The MoU shall be effective from Jan 22 and is subjected to approval from the relevant authorities’ approval for the distribution and sale of the Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia which include Ministry of Health, the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and other relevant authorities and/or third parties, if required,” it said.

Under the terms of MoU, Bioalpha said its wholly-owned subsidiary Bioalpha International Sdn Bhd (BISB) will be responsible for the shipment of the Covid-19 vaccine to Malaysia. BISB is principally engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and sales of health products.

Services required from ZP including importation upon arrival, warehousing, inventory management, picking, packing, delivery to customers, collection and credit risk assumption.

Meanwhile, the commercial terms such as services, distribution fee, inventory holding and others will be set forth in the distribution contract to be negotiated between BISB and/or its affiliates and ZP at a later stage, it added.

ZP is currently the largest vaccine distributor in Malaysia and has extensive capabilities to warehouse and distribute such products in temperature-controlled environments.

Since 1939, ZP has started its business in Malaysia. Today it operates healthcare distribution facilities both in West Malaysia (Klang Valley) and East Malaysia (Kota Kinabalu and Kuching).

ZP, with its affiliates in 13 countries, is Asia’s largest healthcare and medical device product distributor.

In a separate press statement, Bioalpha said BISB has entered into a procurement and distribution agreement with Shanghai Bukun Trading Co Ltd (SBTC) for the procurement and distribution of vaccines in Malaysia, including but not limited to the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Co Ltd, subject to relevant authorities’ approvals.

Under agreement, BISB shall purchase a total of 100,000 doses from SBTC for the initial batch, while subsequent orders can go up to one million doses. The vaccines would be purchased on a “ready-to-administer” basis, which will not require further fill and finish processing.

The agreement is effective from Jan 25, 2021 and shall remain in force for a period of two years, said Bioalpha in a press statement.

Bioalpha managing director William Hon said the company believes there is great demand for the vaccine in the private sector.

“Our target market shall be expatriates and foreign workers from various industries, the latter of which is considered a vulnerable group to the virus.

“Currently in Malaysia, we are seeing the daily number Covid-19 cases increasing at an alarming rate, with the manufacturing and construction sectors contributing to the infection rates. This is mainly due to challenges in relation to the foreign workers’ dormitories and transportation where they tend to congregate in large numbers. Vaccination is the crucial solution to curbing the spread of the virus, and in turn, enable the businesses to maintain smooth operations at the factories and construction sites without having to halt operations due to Covid-19 cases,” Hon added.

SBTC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinopharm (Hainan) Health Industry Co Ltd, which in turn is part of the Sinopharm Group Co Ltd or China National Pharmaceutical Group, the largest state-owned pharmaceutical and healthcare enterprise in China.

SBTC’s principal business is in trading services, including import and export of medicine, health food, Class I, II and III medical devices, as well as provision of technology development and technology transfer in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology.

Bioalpha was among the top ten actively traded counters in Bursa with 71.76 million shares transacted at 2.35pm. The stock was traded half a sen or 1.67% higher at 30.5 sen


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