The foremost Southeast Asian pharmaceutical firm United Laboratories (Unilab) has announced its plan to set up a vaccine manufacturing plant in the Philippines, which is eyed to start operations in 2023.
Department of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez revealed that the company, which also intends to export jabs to neighboring ASEAN nations, may finalize a partnership with a technology provider by next year.
Unilab is one among four firms that were presented to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte that wish to establish vaccine production facilities in the country.
Glovax Biologics, a local vaccine distributor, has already signed a deal with its technology provider Eubiologics of Korea. It plans to allot P7.5 million for a form, fill and finish facility in Clark by October 2022.
IG/IP Biotech, the second proponent, proposes the production of not only Covid19 vaccines, but influenza multivalent vaccines and pneumococcal polyvalent jabs. It has sought a memorandum of understanding with the National Development Co., the government’s investment branch as well as the Board of Investments. It also aims to conduct phase 3 clinical trials in the Philippines.
The third firm, Dr. Zen Biotech Inc., meanwhile, proposes the manufacture of 2nd generation recombinant Covid19 vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and general injectibles. It is eyeing technology providers in India and China and is seeking partnerships with US-based producers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. It is also considering the First Bulacan Industrial Estate as its form/fill facility.
All proponents are request no red tape in the processing of permits and require the government to procure their vaccines subject to standards, specifications and prices.
These facilities are hoped to produce not only vaccines that target human viruses but also viruses that compromise livestock and crops, such as the African Swine Flu.