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Duopharma signs deal with Putrajaya to supply Russian Covid-19 vaccine

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 26): Duopharma Biotech Bhd has signed a deal with the Malaysian government to supply 6.4 million doses of the Russian-developed "Sputnik V" Covid-19 vaccine.

In a filing today, the group confirmed that it will procure and supply to the Ministry of Health (MoH) the vaccine  developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

Duopharma said its subsidiary, Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd (DMSB), has signed a term sheet agreement with MoH and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to secure the 6.4 million doses of Sputnik V.

RDIF is the appointed marketing agent for Gamaleya for all international markets, with established partnerships in India, China, and South Korea to manufacture the vaccine.

Duopharma said supply of the Sputnik V vaccine could be from any of RDIF's partners, subject to approval by MoH's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

Supply of the Sputnik V vaccine will be in phases over a period within 2021, subject to it being approved by the Drug Control Authority, Malaysia through technical evaluation by the NPRA, said Duopharma.

The supply is also subject to the execution of the definitive supply agreement between RDIF and DMSB and the definitive supply agreement between MoH and DMSB.

DMSB will also provide warehousing, logistics, ground support and other services to the government hospitals and clinics, said Duopharma.

"Duopharma Biotech's latest initiative fully supports the Covid-19 National Vaccination Plan," said the group's managing director Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar.

"Our investment in vaccine fill & 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.

"Moving forward, we have in place an existing inert human vaccine fill & finish line at our plant in Klang, and it is 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," he added.

Shares of Duopharma ended 28 sen or 8.19% higher at RM3.70, for a market capitalisation of RM2.61 billion.

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/duopharma-signs-deal-putrajaya-supply-russian-covid19-vaccine

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