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Local firm eyes first COVID-19 vaccine plant in Philippines
Glovax Biotech is in talks with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Bureau of Investments for the construction of the vaccine plant.
AFP/Jean Francois Monier

Local firm eyes first COVID-19 vaccine plant in Philippines

Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - February 28, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine pharmaceutical firm that provides low-cost vaccines announced a plan to establish the first COVID-19 vaccine plant in the country.

Glovax Biotech is in talks with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Bureau of Investments for the construction of the vaccine plant.

The company proposes to produce the next generation COVID-19 vaccine and the Pentavalent vaccine in partnership with Eubiologics and LG Chem, respectively. Both companies from Korea are WHO pre-qualified vaccine manufacturers.

The two Korean firms are traditional vaccine manufacturers that produce vaccines used by the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Glovax is in a joint venture with Eubiologics to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine and to build the local next generation COVID vaccine plant.

National Policy Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. endorsed Glovax Biotech to the Department of Science and Technology.

The local company is also in talks with the DTI’s National Development Corporation for a possible investment collaboration.

The vaccine plant will cost around P7 billion to construct, including technology transfer costs. Glovax said the plant would be capable of providing 40 million doses for domestic use should the government procure them.

Glovax Biotech Corp. founder and CEO Giovanni Alingog said Glovax and Eubiologics are in the process of applying for the mergency use authorization (EUA).

The EuCorVac-19 of Eubiologics was developed in Western New York by POP Biotechnologies Inc. and has been approved for human clinical trials.

The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved the combined phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials last month.

Glovax said that EuCorVac-19 COVID vaccine of Eubiologics was developed in the USA but it will be mass produced at the new facility of Eubiologics in South Korea and will also be manufactured in the Philippine plant.

“It is estimated that the world could vaccinate all its population in seven years and the local vaccine plant can help reduce that time frame, especially for the Philippines,” Alingog said.

The company said the Glovax proposal to produce the next generation COVID vaccine offers a lot of advantages as it can capture newer COVID strains and other mutations.

Other vaccines, the company said, are only 22 percent effective against the new South African strain and other new strains found around the world.

The next generation COVID vaccine can be stored up to 25ºC or room temperature up to three months and 2°C to 8°C for longer period.

Glovax, the first vaccine company to bring in the first vaccine in 2009/2010 during the AH1N1 swine flu pandemic, said there was also a shortage of the pandemic vaccine at that time.

“With this experience, Glovax is proposing a vaccine plant to avert the current and future pandemics,” Alingog said.

The vaccine-focused company has been distributing polio, tuberculosis, measles, tetanus, Pentavalent and rabies vaccines and had sold more than 5 million doses of vaccines since 2003.

COVID-19 VACCINE
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