More local companies in Malaysia are competing to work with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers for distributorship, marketing, and licensing rights even before the commencement of commercial production. These companies include Bintai Kinden, Apex Healthcare, MSMC, and Kanger International. It was also reported recently that Malaysia will be a priority recipient of China’s COVID-19 vaccine once it is successfully developed.
Bintai Healthcare, a subsidiary to Bintai Kinden Corp, has inked an agreement with US-based firm Generex Biotechnology Corp and its subsidiary NuGenerex Immuno-Oncology Inc. for the exclusive rights to distribute, sell and commercialize their COVID-19 vaccines in Malaysia. It is expected to pay USD 2.63 million during the pre-commercialization process and USD 10 million for the commercialization stage. Upon approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Malaysian authorities, the company will be able to procure the vaccine in naked vial form in batches. It will also have the right of first refusal to commercially exploit the vaccine in New Zealand, Australia, and in the global halal market.
Another notable company, Apex Healthcare, which is known for manufacturing and contract manufacturing services for pharmaceuticals as well as wholesaling and distributing other medical products and consumables, is currently seeking to work with potential suppliers of COVID-19 vaccines. In 2019, it has distributed about 49 types of vaccines in Malaysia, and 25 types in Singapore.
MSCM Holdings Bhd, a Malaysia-based company that is active in investment holdings, IT, supply chain management, and money lending, among others, is venturing into the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and test kits. This will be taken up by its subsidiary HS Bio Supplies Sdn Bhd which aims to source the medical and healthcare products from exclusive distributors, as authorized by the Ministry of Health. MSCM also plans to set up its mobile testing facilities for communicable diseases and viruses such as influenza, hepatitis, and COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Kanger International Bhd (KIB) has signed an agreement with China-based Sinopharm Group for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines developed by China National Biotech Group Company (CNBG). KIB is appointed as the sole distributor and will undertake the marketing activity for Sinopharm Group’s vaccines, medical devices, and products in Malaysia for three years until 2023.
The COVID-19 vaccine of Sinopharm CNBG is now in its final stage of testing and is projected to enter the market as early as December 2020. It will be seeking approval for general use in more than 10 countries, namely the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Argentina, Pakistan, Serbia, and Jordan.
(Sources: The Edge Markets; The Star; New Straits Times)