Coronavirus Vaccines

Chinese maker of Covid-19 vaccine gets $669m shot in the arm

Sinovac Biotech said it expects to be able to manufacture 300 million vaccine doses annually. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • One of China's biggest generic drug makers is investing around US$500 million (S$669 million) to fund research and work on a front runner coronavirus vaccine from Sinovac Biotech that could be weeks away from being administered across the world.

Sino Biopharmaceutical will buy a 15 per cent stake in a Sinovac unit called Sinovac Life Sciences, the Beijing-based vaccine maker said in a statement posted on its website yesterday. The investment comes as Sinovac starts shipping its CoronaVac shot to various countries in preparation for mass inoculation efforts.

The Chinese company is expected to release data from final stage testing within days that will show how effective the vaccine is.

Sinovac said it would use the funding for "further development, capacity expansion and manufacturing" of its vaccine.

It added that it aims to produce 300 million doses of CoronaVac annually and is nearing completion of a second factory that will double its production capacity.

In addition to supplying the shot in China, the company will need to ship the vaccine either in bulk or in vials to countries including Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2020, with the headline Chinese maker of Covid-19 vaccine gets $669m shot in the arm. Subscribe