Quick take: Pharmaniaga, Duopharma climb on vaccine hopes

FILE PHOTO: Small bottles labelled with "Vaccine" stickers seen near a medical syringe in front of displayed "Coronavirus COVID-19" words in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of drug makers Pharmaniaga and Duopharma climbed in early Monday trade as hopes for a vaccine for the Covid-19 perked up after reports of human trials could start in Singapore as early as this week.

At 9.41am, the FBM KLCI was up 0.09 point to 1,589.70. Turnover was 2.06 billion shares valued at RM1.27bil. There were 381 gainers, 340 losers and 350 counters unchanged.

Pharmaniaga rose 10 sen to RM3.73 and Duopharma eight sen to RM2.70.

Pharmaniaga and Duopharma were picked by the government to pack the Covid-19 vaccine when publicly made available.

Singapore Straits Times reported on Sunday the trial will involve 108 healthy volunteers of various ages in Singapore who will be injected with the vaccine developed by Duke-NUS Medical School and United States pharmaceutical company Arcturus Therapeutics.

Called Lunar-Cov19, the vaccine is one of 25 vaccine candidates worldwide that either have been tested on humans, or have received approval to do so. Some 141 others are still at a pre-clinical phase, the newspaper reported on its website.

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