KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaniaga Bhd’s share price climbed on Wednesday on news it has embarked on an initiative to supply the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to the state governments and private sector.
In a statement issued after its virtual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, the company said the initiative was to complement the government’s effort to achieve herd immunity and economic recovery at a faster pace
The stock rallied to an intra-day high RM5.54 on the positive news, before it ended the day up 18 sen, or 3.5% at RM5.34.
Group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope (pic, above) said the key focus is aimed at economic frontliners amongst the government-linked companies (GLCs), private firms, foreign workers and expatriates in this country.
“We shall also offer the vaccines to the state governments that wish to expedite their own Covid-19 immunisation programmes.
“We will ensure an effective provision and distribution of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses supply to the private market and state governments, and it will not disrupt our existing contractual obligation with the Federal Government, ” he said.
Pharmaniaga is expected to complete its contractual obligation of supplying 12 million doses to the Federal Government by July, sufficient to cover some 18% of Malaysia’s population and it remains a priority
On the new market to supply the Sinovac vaccine to the state governments and private sector, Zulkarnain said this expansion in a new market also marks a strong repositioning that will strengthen the group's foothold in the private market.
He also pointed out the vaccine was recently approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the recognition is a boost of confidence in the battle against the pandemic.
“We are bullish on the group’s outlook this year and expect a better financial year 2021 (FY 2021) performance with the continuous ramping up the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine supply.
“China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has given emergency approval for Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 3 to 17 years and manufacturing of 2- dose per vial, recently, ” he added.
Zulkarnain said Pharmaniaga shall be submitting the relevant documents to NPRA for variation process.
“Upon obtaining the approval, we will be able to ramp up our capacity from two million to four million doses a month, ” he said.
Zulkarnain said the group aims to accelerate the growth of the Halal vaccine manufacturing business with various types of vaccine development projects.
“Our plans to establish the world’s first Halal vaccine facility are progressing well, in close collaboration with Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC).
“The Halal vaccine project has been selected as a pioneer initiative for policy and incentive development purposes.
“The facility is targeted to start operating in 2024 and aims to create a new revenue stream for the group while generating multiple positive spills over benefits, including improving our nation’s pandemic preparedness towards cultivating a sustainable vaccine supply chain.
“In addition, it will provide opportunities for upskilling local talent whilst increasing access to affordable vaccines for both local and international markets. This will subsequently position Malaysia as a global vaccine manufacturer.”
Pharmaniaga chairman Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said the group has proven itself resilient in a year with uncertain economic situations whilst responding swiftly to the pandemic outbreak and supported all the Government’s efforts in protecting the nation and rakyat.
“We continued to future-proof the business through Industry 4.0 technologies embedded within our operations, in tandem with various key strategies in place. We shall also embrace modernisation in our processes with the strong inclusion of digitalisation in our journey for greater excellence, ” he said.