KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaceutical player Pharmaniaga Bhd will spend RM100 million over a period of five years to develop halal and cost-effective vaccines for the public. This was announced after the company signed a collaboration agreement with Technology Depository Agency (TDA) and India-based Hilleman Laboratories today. Hilleman is a vaccine research organisation. Under the partnership, Pharmaniaga said it will establish the halal vaccines manufacturing facility in the country, conduct clinical trials, manage regulatory matters and facilitate products’ commercialisation. “We already have the building located at our existing plant in Puchong. Now we are just going to put the facilities in, which include all the equipment,” Pharmaniaga’s managing director Datuk Farshila Emran told reporters at the ceremony. She said they hope to have the facility up and running within two to three years, adding that the initiative will be funded internally. Farshila said the collaboration on halal vaccines is one of the government-linked company’s efforts to provide affordable pharmaceutical products in the country. Hilleman Labs, which specialises in making affordable vaccines, will conduct the research and development activities and provide vaccine knowhow and technologies. On the other hand, TDA, an agency under the Finance Ministry, which is responsible to monitor the Industrial Collaboration Programme in Malaysia, will be looking into facilitating the placement and positioning of the halal vaccine initiative in the market. TDA will also monitor and facilitate the progress and development of the halal vaccines to ensure the initiative is carried out as planned. Pharmaniaga’s core businesses include generic pharmaceuticals manufacturing; research and development; marketing and sales; warehousing and distribution of pharmaceutical and medical products; supply and installation of hospital equipment as well as community pharmacy. Currently it operates in 38 sites across three countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.