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PETALING JAYA: Duopharma Biotech Bhd, through its wholly owned subsidiary Duopharma (M) Sdn Bhd (DMSB), will procure and supply the Covid-19 vaccine known as “Sputnik V” developed by Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology to the Health Ministry (MOH).

DMSB has 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. Supplies of the Sputnik V vaccine could be from any of RDIF’s partners, subject to approval by the Malaysia’s National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).

Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector-based platform. It has a unique approach that enables boosting of the immune response and providing long lasting immunity. It is 92% effective, based on late-stage trial results.

Sputnik V is administered via two doses, and made up of two different components, 21 days apart and in liquid form.

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. Supply of the Sputnik V vaccine will be in phases over a period within 2021.

The supply is subject to the Sputnik V vaccine being approved by Drug Control Authority, Malaysia, through technical evaluation by the NPRA. 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. Furthermore, DMSB will also provide warehousing, logistics, ground support and other services to the government hospitals and clinics.

Duopharma Biotech group managing director Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar 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.”

A vial containing the Sputnik V vaccine. – AFPPIX

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