Sunday 14 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 6): UCrest Bhd said today it has entered into a one-year master service agreement with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for the production of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, five months after its first announcement on the planned collaboration.

UCrest was previously exploring collaboration with the Russian state-owned fund to identify and manage several potential manufacturers of Sputnik V vaccine in Asia. The two parties inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in April this year.

The latest agreement was inked between UCrest's wholly-owned subsidiary UCrest Technology Ltd (UTL) and RDIF's wholly-owned unit Human Vaccine LLC, UCrest said in a filing.

UCrest had previously identified three Chinese contract manufacturers with capacity to produce up to a combined 1.06 billion doses across a 24-month period.

In the latest filing, UCrest said RDIF has qualified and approved the three selections.

"The agreement is signed for the period of one year and renewable for another year," it said, but did not elaborate on the effective period.

"Human Vaccine will purchase the vaccines from UTL and UTL will be outsourcing the production to manufacturing partners," it added.

According to the April MoU, UCrest is tasked with managing the contract manufacturers, including the sourcing of materials, coordinating work among manufacturers, getting the necessary approvals to achieve the production, and delivery of needed doses.

RDIF, meanwhile, will be responsible for technology transfer and total purchase of the product in a take-or-pay arrangement.

While Sputnik V has not received approval from Malaysian authorities, at least 69 countries have approved the usage of the Russian-made vaccine including China, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, according to Russian news agency TASS.

Shares of UCrest jumped to its intraday high of 36.5 sen after the news, up 3.5 sen or 10.61%, giving it a market capitalisation of RM226.99 million.

Edited ByTan Choe Choe
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