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UAE starts manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine called Hayat-Vax

A new pharmaceutical plant in Abu Dhabi will start making a COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm later this year under a joint venture between Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 (G42).

The vaccine will be called Hayat-Vax when manufactured in the UAE, but is the same inactivated vaccine from the Beijing Institute of Biological Product (BiBP), a unit of Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG), that the UAE approved for general use in December.

Sinopharm was registered by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention in December last year

G42 in a statement revealed that the joint venture is already producing Hayat-Vax with its partner — Ras Al Khaimah-based pharma firm Julphar — with an initial capacity of 2 million doses per month.

The UAE, through G42, hosted Phase III clinical trials of the Sinopharm vaccine from July, which later expanded to other countries in the region including Bahrain. The UAE approved the vaccine for frontline workers in September before making it available to the general public in December.

G42 has previously said it has distribution and manufacturing agreements with Sinopharm and hopes to provide the UAE and other states in the region with the vaccine.

The deal was launched during a two-day visit to the UAE by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi which ended on Sunday.

The joint venture also includes a purpose-built research and development hub for life sciences, biotechnology and vaccine production in KIZAD.

“Our joint venture is also actively looking to bring our capabilities to new markets around the world,” G42 CEO Peng Xiao said.

The UAE has said its trials showed the vaccine has 86% efficacy, while Sinopharm reports 79.34% efficacy based on interim results.

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