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KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaniaga Bhd is looking to expand its presence in Southeast Asia and Africa by supplying finished Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by its own high-technology plant.

Group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the Southeast Asian region, with a population of over 700 million, and the African continent, with its 1.3 billion population, offered tremendous potential for growth and would be the company’s focus areas to supply the vaccine.

“Following the completion of distributing and supplying Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to the federal government totalling 20.4 million doses, we are looking at further opportunities to export the vaccine overseas,” he told a virtual press conference on the company’s results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021.

However, he said the company would need the consent from its main supplier Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd before venturing into another country.

“Besides, we need to understand the requirements of certain countries – if they want us to supply only for the government or private sector, or both,” he said.

Zulkarnain said the company is expected to manufacture its own fill-and-finish vaccine registered under Pharmaniaga by October this year.

“Once it is recognised by the World Health Organisation, the rollout of the vaccine will be tremendous as there are only five fill-and-finish Sinovac vaccine plants in the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said following recent approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency to manufacture fill-and-finish Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine two-dose per vial, the group would continue its production at wholly owned unit Pharmaniaga LifeScience Sdn Bhd’s high-tech plant.

Besides that, Zulkarnain said, Pharmaniaga was expecting Sinovac to offer booster shots soon in order to maintain protection against the virus, especially from the new variants.

Moving forward, he said the company remained cautiously optimistic of its results for the third quarter ending September 2021, and was expected to record sterling performance by focusing on operational efficiencies and fiscal discipline throughout its value chain, including the supply and distribution of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines in the country and overseas markets. – Bernama

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