Yong Tai moves a step closer to commercialising COVID-19 vaccine

YONG Tai Bhd and its Chinese partner Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co Ltd (SZKT) have progressed into the clinical trials and commercialisation stage of their COVID-19 vaccine collaboration.

Yesterday, Yong Tai through its subsidiary YTB Healthcare Sdn Bhd formalised their Phase III clinical and product procurement agreement which comes under the head of agreement framework purview that was signed in December last year.

“We are confident that the collaboration will show results in the near-term given SZKT’s track record with the company already obtained approval for the clinical trial in China last year,” Yong Tai’s CEO Datuk Wira Boo Kuang Loon pointed out.

“Yong Tai will sponsor the cost for the Phase III clinical trials in Malaysia which can be recovered from the commercialisation of the vaccine upon successful.”

While Yong Tai will bear the cost for the Phase III clinical trials in Malaysia, SZKT will bear all the costs for the supply of vaccine samples for the trials, including the cost of transporting the vaccine from China to Malaysia.

The protocol for the Phase III clinical trials will enrol 2,880 subjects from Malaysia with each subject to receive the vaccine in two doses 28 days apart.

Under the agreement, Yong Tai has to obtain the approval of Phase III study protocol from the Ethics Committee of Ministry of Health and National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (NPRA) prior to the commencement of Phase III clinical trials in Malaysia.

While Boo is confident that the group’s initiative to diversify its revenue away from the property and tourism sector would bear fruit, he said that more work needs to be done to ensure that the Phase III clinical trials in the country could start as soon as possible.

“We know that there are a lot more works for us to do from here onwards,” he noted. “We just need to stay focus with the next course of action in compiling the Phase I and Phase II clinical trials data and prepare the Phase III trial protocol to be submitted to the relevant authorities.”

Upon the conclusion of the clinical trials or emergency usage approval, both Yong Tai and SZKT will cooperate on a vaccine procurement programme of no less than 10 million doses with another option of 10 million doses per year for a five-year period.

Aside from Malaysia, SZKT will also be doing Phase III clinical trials in Columbia, Argentina which would help to provide a larger set of data for the efficacy and safety level of its vaccine.

At 10.24am, Yong Tai was down 1.5 sen or 6% to 23.5 sen with 41.89 million shares traded, thus valuing the company at RM288 mil. – Feb 10, 2021

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