With increase in daily cases and the country’s immunisation program up to a slow start, the news of private companies embarking in procuring vaccines to assist the government should be greeted with open arms. Although no short cuts should be allowed for approvals, all intended parties will have to be duly scrutinised by regulators and relevant bodies before any vaccines can be introduced to the public.
It is with this notion that YTB Healthcare Sdn Bhd a subsidiary of Yong Tai Bhd which first ventured into vaccines from a host of diversified business, had gone through the process before obtaining approval from the Ministry of Health to conduct phase 3 clinical trial of its procured Covid 19 vaccines from China.
The company will be taking on the trial in the third quarter of this year, where 3000 volunteers will be given doses of the vaccines procured from its partner Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co. Ltd (SZKT) which the company has been in agreement since last December.
According to Datuk Wira Boo CEO of Yong Tai, his company has been proactive in ensuring all regulatory and safety requirements are met to obtain the approval including the compilation and analytics of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials for the submission.
He adds that the Group has set an internal target to roll out the distribution of SZKT’s inactivated vaccine by the third quarter this year, subject to the approval by National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (NPRA) for emergency usage.
“So far, we have only seen around 2.4% of the population that has obtained at least one dose of the vaccine. It is still a long way and we believe that involvement of a local private sector in the distribution of vaccine will help to escalate the country’s goal to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19,” Datuk Wira Boo said.
The aim is also to eventually have SZKT manufacture vaccines in Malaysia enabling the country to attract huge investment into the country, as well as transfer technical know-how to local workers and create job opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector.
Under the collaboration with SZKT, YTBH will be granted exclusive distributorship rights in Malaysia on a vaccine procurement program of no less than 10 million doses per annum with an option to purchase for additional 10 million doses per annum for a 5-year period. In the event of unsold doses, the surplus shall be allowed to be sold with permission in other ASEAN and Indian subcontinent countries.
With both the domestic and export markets, YTB will start to see contribution coming from the distribution of vaccine once approval for Conditional Marketing Authorisation is obtained.