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Companies to package Covid-19 vaccine have yet to be selected

28 Jul 2020 / 16:10 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The selection of companies to package the Covid-19 vaccine, once it is found, will not be limited to Pharmaniaga and Duopharma, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

“Pharmaceutical companies that fulfilled good manufacturing practices (GMP) requirements set by Standard Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation will be appointed to manufacture the Covid-19 vaccine,” Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said.

“The selection of the manufacturer that meets the standards is crucial in ensuring the field-and-finish aspect could be executed safely.

“The appointment of the companies must fulfil conditions set by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) under the Health Ministry, as well as procedures by the government,” he said, when replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (BN-Parit).

He said the National Science Council had discussed the public-private partnership (PPP) approach for the field and finish stage.

It was reported that Pharmaniaga and Duopharma have potential to be selected to package the vaccine for use in Malaysia.

“Companies targeted countries like the United Arab Emirates and Brazil with a high number of Covid-19 cases and had withdrawn from participating in the clinical trials here due to the small number of Covid-19 patients.”

He said clinical trials for a vaccine normally required a large number of patients.

Khairy said the country could run it’s own clinical trials through Clinical Research Malaysia, that pioneered the clinical research ecosystem development in the country.

He added facilities are available to conduct phase one of clinical research at the Sarawak General Hospital.

Replying a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH-Kulim-Bandar Baharu), Khairy said a new roadmap was needed for the development of human vaccines.

He said this would ensure vaccine security and self-reliance for the nation in the future.

“Since 2006, my ministry and the Higher Education Ministry had sponsored 55 vaccine projects carried out by 16 local institutions,“ he said.

Khairy said five human vaccines were under development while one for pre-clinical trials was being developed to treat cholera.

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