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BOI pursues P7-B vaccine investment lead

The Department of Trade and Industry through the Board of Investments (BOI) is exploring a P7-billion investment lead purportedly for a vaccine production project in the Philippines between a local pharma distributor company and LG, a leading Korean chaebol engaged largely in the electronics industry.

Rowel S. Barba, director-general of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), said the discussion is still very preliminary and “BOI will pursue the lead in the coming days.” As head of the government’s intellectual property (IP) protection agency, Barba should be present for IP issue about the project.

Director General Rowel S. Barba 

Another government source, however, said that BOI is expected to meet with the proponents tomorrow, Feb. 23.

According to the government source, the supposed project’s cost was already pegged at P7 billion to be undertaken by Glovax Biotech Corp., a pharmaceutical distributor in the country specializing on hepatitis drugs, in partnership with LG of Korea.

The source also said that the project proponent has also included the National Development Company, the government’s investment arm attached with the DTI, in the meeting as potential equity investor in the vaccine manufacturing venture.

Since it would be too late to join the COVID-19 production with many global brands already on massive production, the source said, the proponent could be focusing in the next generation of vaccines for COVID related variants and other flu vaccines.

In October 2020, Lopez reported he had discussion with Russian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Igor Khovaev the possibility of manufacturing and distributing Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines.

The Department of Science and Technology had already engaged with Russia’s Gamaleya Institute and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Alexander Zhuravlev, senior vice-president of the investment department of RDIF has presented Gamaleya’s Sputnik V vaccine last September 18. The Russian Sputnik V is touted as the world’s first Human Adenovirus Vector-based COVID-19 vaccine.

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN) 

“The offer of Russia is not only to supply vaccines, but also to collaborate for the manufacturing of the vaccine in the Philippines. Ambassador Igor emphasized that Russia is the only country who also offers in-country manufacturing of the vaccine,” said BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo in a report in October last year.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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