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PLDT Group may invest in Glovax’s vaccine hub

The group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan plans to invest in vaccine supplier Glovax Biotech Inc., which is building a P7.2-billion manufacturing facility to produce vaccines against COVID-19.

Globax president and chief executive Giovanni Alingog said his company held a virtual meeting with Pangilinan’s group on April 14, 2021.

“We need to further coordinate with them as to how far they are willing to fund our project. They said they are willing to the support Glovax vaccine plant as a lasting support to the Filipinos and in support to President Duterte in his fight against COVID,” Alingog said over the weekend.

He said state-owned National Development Corp. also agreed to invest P500 million in the project.

Alingog said with NDC providing at least P500 million, the company needed to raise P7 billion to put up the modern facility.

He said Glovax and technology partner Eubiologics Co. Ltd., along with another investor which is possibly PLDT Inc., would have to raise P5 billion. The remaining P2 billion will be funded by bank loans.

Alingog said the talks for a minority share of NDC in the vaccine project was expected to be firmed up in the next two weeks.

Alingog expressed optimism the investment of Pangilinan’s group would be enough to fund the project.

“We expect the share of PLDT to the project to be substantial enough for us not to look for other partners. I heard that the amount we need for the facility is just ‘a drop from the bucket’ for PLDT,” he said.

The Board of Investments is working on a draft memorandum of understanding with Glovax and other project stakeholders which is expected to be finalized in the next two months.

Globax said it already scouted a location in Clark Freeport, Pampanga. It said while the production facility was being finalized, it was prepared to bring in COVID-19 vaccines from other countries in partnership with Eubiologics.

Eubiologics’s EuCorVac-19 vaccine is now under phase 1 and phase 2 of clinical in Korea. Glovax said it would apply for the emergency use authorization with the Food and Drug Administration.

It said the same technology will be used to locally produce COVID-19 vaccines. Clinical trials will also be done locally.

The company said it was also in talks with the Department of Trade and Industry for possible collaboration in offering the vaccine to private companies.

Other companies that expressed interest to locally produce vaccines are IG Biotech Inc., IP Biotech and Dr. Zen Biotech Inc.

President Rodrigo Duterte asked government agencies and regulators, including the DTI, Department of Health and the FDA, to expedite the processing of government permits of local vaccine production.

Topics: PLDT Group , Manuel Pangilinan , Glovax Biotech Inc.
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