Image courtesy: Medigen Biotechnology Corp.
As Pfizer/BioNtech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna are making progress in clinical trials and signing deals for distributing millions of vaccines, Taiwan has officially entered the fray, making the first agreement of its self-developed COVID-19 vaccines MVC-COV1901 on November 20, bagging up to 150 million dollars.
Medigen Vaccine Biologics (MVC), a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Taiwan, lately signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Metronic Medicare Sdn Bhd (MMSB) which acquired the exclusive rights to distribute MVC-COV1901 in Malaysia.
MVC-COV1901 consists of a genetically recombinant S-2P spike protein designed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CpG-1018 adjuvant from a US biopharmaceutical company Dynavax. The vaccine has entered the Phase 1 clinical trial in September 2020 in Taiwan, and it is expected to set foot in a multi-regional Phase 2 trial in December with 3,700 patients.
To accelerate the process, on November 3, the MVC announced the partnership with NIHE, a public institute under the Ministry of Health in Vietnam. MVC-COV1901 will run Phase 2 trials both in Taiwan and Vietnam for acquiring EUA in Taiwan and other areas as soon as possible. This will allow MVC to begin manufacturing of MVC-COV1901 in 2021 for around 10 to 20 million doses.
Details of the MOA
According to the MOA, MVC will supply 1 to 3 million doses in the form of pre-filled syringes or multi-dose vials with up to 50 dollars apiece throughout 2021.
It should be noted that the specific price is still under negotiation and that MMSB would have to wait until MVC-COV1901 is granted EUA to receive vaccines in the second half of 2021. Moreover, the exact numbers of vaccines purchased will be settled at the end of 2020, and at least 3 months of lead time will be allowed between the purchase and delivery of the vaccines.
As for the clinical development of MVC-COV1901 in Malaysia, MMSB is responsible for the expense and cost while MVC will supply vaccines at a discounted price for the trials.
By Tyler Chen
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