IP Biotech and Sinovac Enter Partnership Agreement
Sinovac Begins Production of Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine
Makati City, Philippines - 22 June 2009 -- IP Biotech, an importer, wholesaler and retail administrator of high quality, affordable vaccine treatments in the Philippines and Sinovac Biotech Co. Ltd. (NYSE Amex: SVA), a leading provider of vaccines in China, announced today an exclusive agreement for the distribution of Sinovac’s flu vaccine, Anflu®, in the Philippines. The Anflu vaccine utilizes the Southern Hemisphere virus strain recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The partnership marks Sinovac’s entry into the Philippine market. Under terms of the agreement, IP Biotech will distribute Anflu® in the Philippine market nationwide, pending the completion of registration currently underway to the Philippine Bureau of Food and Administration (BFAD). The vaccine will also be available through Family Vaccine and Specialty Clinics, Inc. (FVSC), a chain of private vaccination clinics with over 30 facilities nationwide.
Mr. Weidong Yin, Sinovac’s Chairman, President and CEO, commented, “Our ultimate goal is to provide global access to Sinovac’s safe, high-quality vaccines, and our entry into the Philippines market is an important step towards this goal. IP Biotech’s local market expertise will enable the effective and efficient distribution of our flu vaccine throughout the region. Importantly, our initial agreement with IP Biotech creates a significant potential opportunity for us to introduce additional vaccines to the Philippine market by leveraging our commercialized portfolio and strong R&D pipeline.”
Greg Ortile, IP Biotech’s General Manager, said, “We are pleased to partner with Sinovac in providing this life-saving vaccine to Filipinos. We have the opportunity to leverage our local market expertise and distribution capabilities with Sinovac’s experience and track record in developing quality vaccines to prevent influenza. Through our collaboration we have the potential to lower immunization costs, decrease healthcare expenses and ultimately help save lives.”
According to the Department of Health (DOH), influenza was the fourth leading cause of morbidity or illness in the Philippines in 1997. In addition to public health issues, influenza can contribute to economic problems and productivity losses resulting from absenteeism due to flu.
In order to combat influenza, health experts recommend flu vaccination to prevent infection before the onset of the two influenza seasons in the Philippines: the “rainy” season,” from June to August, and the “cold” season, from October to January.
Swine flu situation: Vaccine in production
Last April, WHO issued a “public health emergency of international concern” after a new strain of virus was reported to have infected thousands of humans. The Influenza A (H1N1) or more commonly known as “swine flu virus”, is a highly contagious acute respiratory disease of pigs. It manifests like the common flu and transmitted through tiny particles in the air or by direct contact.
After spreading to over 74 countries and infecting nearly 29,000, the World Health Organization declared swine flu a pandemic. This is the first global flu epidemic in 41 years.
In the Philippines, a total of 193 confirmed cases have been reported, according to DOH. Several school openings have been postponed as well due to the disease. Businesses are enforcing a mandatory 7-day self-quarantine and advised to work at home for employees returning from affected countries like the US, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, Israel and Australia.
The international pharmaceutical community is in full force finding a solution to the growing crisis. In response, Sinovac announced that it has begun production of a vaccine against influenza A (H1N1) virus. The company received the virus seed from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Monday, June 8, 2009.
Sinovac is being supported by external organizations in order to deliver a high quality vaccine to the market as soon as possible. China's SFDA (State Food and Drug Administration) has cleared the pandemic influenza vaccine for fast track approval, while the National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products (NICPBP) has committed a simultaneous lot release for H1N1 vaccine to ensure supply by early October 2009.
Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is a China-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the research, development, manufacture and commercialization of vaccines that protect against human infectious diseases. Sinovac’s vaccine products include Healive® (hepatitis A), Bilive® (combined hepatitis A and B), and Anflu® (influenza). PanfluTM , Sinovac’s pandemic influenza vaccine (H5N1), has already been approved for government stockpiling. Sinovac is developing vaccines for Enterovirus 71, Universal Pandemic Influenza, Japanese encephalitis vaccine, and Human Rabies vaccine. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tangshan Yian, is conducting field trials for independently developed inactivated animal rabies vaccines. Additional information about Sinovac is available on its website, http://www.sinovac.com
About IP Biotech
IP Biotech is currently engaged in the importation, wholesale and retail administration of high quality, affordable vaccine treatments such as anti-rabies vaccines and biologicals in the Philippines.
Sheila Rada Justine Bonilla
IPVG Corp. Dominguez Marketing Communications, Inc.
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