Chinese vaccine-maker Sinovac Biotech Ltd. has secured half a trillion dollars to boost research and production of its frontrunner coronavirus vaccine candidate that could be weeks away from being administered around the world.
One of China’s biggest pharmaceutical company, Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd., has agreed to pay $515 million through a wholly owned subsidiary to buy 15% of a Sinovac unit called Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd., the company said in a filing to Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday.
Sino Biopharmaceutical shares rose as much as 4.6% to HK$7 ($) per share at market close on Monday, up from HK$6.69 on Friday.
The deal comes as the Beijing-based vaccine-maker signs deals to supply its coronavirus vaccine to several countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Chile. The investment will be used to fund the research and development of its frontrunner vaccine CoronaVac and double its production capacity in preparation for a mass rollout in the near future.
The company said it would be able to manufacture over 300 million doses of the vaccine annually and plans to complete construction of a second production line by the end of year, which could double its Covid-19 vaccine production capacity to 600 million shots.
Depending on market demand and financing availability, Sinovac said it may consider further expanding the vaccine’s production capacity.
The company is expected to release data within days that demonstrates the effectiveness of CoronaVac. It is now analyzing interim data from phase 3 trials in Brazil, after which it will submit the data to the Chinese drug regulator.
Contact reporter Anniek Bao (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editor Heather Mowbray (email@example.com)
Support quality journalism in China. Subscribe to Caixin Global starting at $0.99.