Pharmaniaga invests RM100m on halal, affordable vaccines

KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaniaga Bhd is investing RM100 million in the next five years to make halal and affordable vaccines for local use and export.

This follows Pharmaniaga signing a collaboration agreement with Technology Depository Agency (TDA) and India-based Hilleman Laboratories here today.

Under the partnership, Pharmaniaga will establish halal vaccines manufacturing facility here, conduct clinical trials, manage regulatory matters and facilitate products’ commercialisation.

“We already have a building in Puchong. We are in the midst of putting the facilities in, which include all the equipment,” said Pharmaniaga managing director Datuk Farshila Emran.

“We are hoping to have the facility ready between two to three years from now and start to produce the vaccine,” she told reporters at the ceremony.

She said it will take up to five years to commercialise the research by Hilleman Laboratories.

“We are looking produce vaccines for diphtheria and meningitis,” she said.

Malaysia’s Health Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam officiated at the signing ceremony.

Hilleman is a vaccine research organisation in India while TDA is fully owned by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance Inc.

Pharmaniaga chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Hilleman chief executive officer Dr Davinder Gill and TDA chief executive officer Datuk Zailani Safari were present at the event.

Subramaniam assures that his ministry is keeping tabs on the vaccine safety while the halal processes will be endorsed by Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development or Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim).