Covid-19 vaccine: M’sia and Russia collaborating

Photo used for illustration purposes only

KUALA LUMPUR – The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) through the National Institutes of Biotechnology Malaysia (NIBM) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Russian Embassy here to obtain further information on the COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.

Its Deputy Minister, Ahmad Amzad Hashim said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) had acquired the exclusive rights to supply the Sputnik V vaccine to the world.

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“Sputnik V is developed by the Gamaleya National Research Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the agency that developed the vaccine for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

“Phase 3 of the Sputnik V clinical test is expected to involve participants across the world. Further discussion will be held with the Russian Embassy here on the vaccine soon.”

Ahmad Amzad said this in the Dewan Negara today in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Razali Idris on the latest achievement of the ministry’s special task force in exploring opportunities to produce COVID-19 vaccines with other countries.

The NIBM, he said, had signed an LOI with the Cuban Embassy here on cooperation with the Finlay Vaccine Institute (BioCubaFarma) and Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cuba to gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine developed there.

He said MOSTI had also taken the initiative to be involved with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to enable Malaysia to gain access to the development of vaccines, technology transfer and new expertise for local researchers.

“Among the benefits for Malaysia by joining CEPI is the priority given to participate in the pre-clinical and clinical tests of new vaccines whenever a pandemic occurs.

“Malaysia will also have access to research data and developments on vaccine production sponsored by CEPI, including the vaccine research conducted by a group of researchers at Oxford University,” he added.

— BERNAMA