KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Malaysian firm Yong Tai Bhd, which has partnered China-based Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co. Ltd. (SZKT) to supply Chinese-produced COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia, is targeting to offer its vaccines to private sector by September or October.
Yong Tai’s chief executive officer Boo Kuang Loon said the group, which has an agreement with SZKT to supply 10 million doses per year with an additional option of 10 million if required, has commenced its trial vaccination.
“We are currently conducting the Phase III Clinical Trial in Malaysia and have made an application to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency for approval to use the vaccines here. If everything goes smooth, we aim to obtain the approval by September or October,” he told Xinhua in a recent written interview.
He also said the group plans to bring SZKT to Malaysia to set up a research and development center and a production plant, in a bid to ensure that Malaysia is equipped and well prepared to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in the long term or any potential threat by other viruses in future.
It is also in line with Malaysian government’s plan to develop the biotech industry to make Malaysia the hub of bioscience in the region, he added.
“From the latest development, we foresee that the virus will continue to stay with us. Therefore, we believe the demand for vaccines will be high in the long term,” he said.
Boo is also confident that the vaccine developed by SZKT will be well accepted as it is of the same technology platform as the other two Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developers Sinopharm and Sinovac.
“Moreover, as the Phase III Clinical Trial is conducted locally, it provides us the data to prove the safety and efficacy of the vaccine which will become more convincing for the public,” he said.
He noted that the technology of the Chinese vaccine is the inactivated virus vaccine, which has a good track record and has been accepted by most people.
Malaysia’s regulators have given conditional approval to two Chinese COVID-19 vaccines developed by Sinovac and CanSino respectively and the two vaccines are included in the country’s national vaccination programme.
Chinese vaccines are gaining momentum in Malaysia with more Malaysian firms jumping on Chinese vaccine distribution bandwagon.
Leading Malaysian pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga has partnered with Sinovac to complete the fill-and-finish process locally, apart from importing finished products from China. The administration of Sinovac vaccine started in Malaysia in March.
Meanwhile, CanSino is working with Malaysian firm Solution Group for the local manufacturing of its vaccine.
In addition, another Malaysian firm MY E.G. Services announced in June that it would supply a batch of Chinese-made vaccines for the private market in Malaysia in August.
It is confident that the vaccine, developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Chinese Academy of Sciences, can play an important role in accelerating the country’s drive toward achieving herd immunity against the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the firm.