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Yong Tai inks deal with Tiong Nam for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 7): Yong Tai Bhd, which last month proposed the development of a China-based company’s Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia, today signed up with Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings Bhd to provide distribution services for the vaccine.

Under the deal, Tiong Nam’s subsidiary Tiong Nam Logistics Solutions Sdn Bhd will provide logistics services, which also include transportation and warehouse space storage for the vaccine.

On Dec 4, Yong Tai inked a Heads of Agreement with Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co Ltd (SZKT) for the development and exclusive commercialisation of the latter’s inactivated Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia. Under the deal, Yong Tai will supply 100 million doses of the vaccine over a five-year period.

Yesterday, Yong Tai signed an extension letter with SZKT to work towards a more definitive commercialisation agreement by Feb 3, the group said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

The group also signed a services agreement today with Healthcliqs Sdn Bhd to engage the latter as a service provider for promotional sales campaigns, marketing activities and virtual sales representation services.

Yong Tai added that it has incorporated a new 70%-owned subsidiary, YTB Healthcare Sdn Bhd, which will be the entity that deals with Tiong Nam and Healthcliqs.

In a separate statement, Yong Tai said the partnership with Healthcliqs will allow the group to have immediate access to more than 4,000 general practitioners for the marketing of its medical products.

Yong Tai CEO Datuk Boo Kuang Loon said the group is  excited about the prospect of working together with SZKT.

“We think that it provides us the opportunity to diversify our business away from the tourism and property segment. A lot of planning has been done and we will be investing about RM15 to RM20 million into the phase III clinical trial of the vaccine.

“While there are other vaccines in the market already such as the one developed by Pfizer, AstraZeneca Plc and even China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd, the supply would not be enough for everyone in the near future,” Boo said.

He added that the group is finalising the details and planning for the commercialisation of the vaccine via its partnership with Tiong Nam and Healthcliqs

“Our collaboration with Tiong Nam going forward will help to ensure the delivery of vaccines is done in an efficient and careful manner. We think it is important that a strong logistic service provider is involved given the difficulty in storage and delivery of the vaccine,” said Boo.

Shares in Yong Tai finished 6.25% or two sen lower at 30 sen yesterday, valuing the group at RM336.80 million. It saw 158.16 million shares traded.

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