KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaniaga Bhd says it is all geared up to make changes to its plants that would enable them to undertake the “fill and finish” process for a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it is developed.
Its acting managing director, Mohamed Iqbal Abdul Rahman, said the group had presented its plan, capacity and capabilities to the National Science Council.
“This is part of the short-term plan of the group in addressing the urgent need for a Covid-19 vaccine,” he told Bernama.
Last month, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government had agreed that the facilities owned by Duopharma Biotech Bhd and Pharmaniaga would be used for bottling the vaccine.
Khairy reportedly explained that the two companies were chosen as both are government-linked – Duopharma is owned by Permodalan Nasional Bhd, and Pharmaniaga by Boustead Holdings Bhd – and have unused capacity that can be directed towards this purpose.
Iqbal also said Pharmaniaga, Malaysia’s largest pharmaceutical company, was on track to establish the world’s first halal vaccine facility, targeted for completion by 2022.
“In 2018, Pharmaniaga announced plans to establish a vaccine plant. We have since completed the due diligence and secured partnerships with international vaccine producers,” he said.
He also said Pharmaniaga has long-term plans for sustainable growth and has put in place six strategic thrusts to drive the company to the next level.
As a government-linked company, he said, Pharmaniaga is committed to continuously providing the highest standard of service to allow the health ministry to focus on healthcare delivery, with Pharmaniaga as its preferred logistics partner.
“Although we have secured a logistics and distribution contract until November 2024, we are hopeful that our proven track record, ready infrastructure, integrated information technology, and most importantly, experienced human capital, will position us well to secure a potential extension following this period,” he said.
CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST DATA ON THE COVID-19 SITUATION IN MALAYSIA