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Saudi–German pact inked to supply coronavirus vaccine
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 30 - 11 - 2020

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia continues its efforts to provide a vaccine for coronavirus, as one of its largest pharmaceutical companies signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Sunday with a German pharmaceutical company, a leader in biomedical research.
This is the second agreement that the Kingdom inked to make available the vaccine, after signing a cooperation agreement with a Russian company earlier.
The Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical supplies Corporation (Spimaco Addwaeih) has signed the MoU with the German company CureVac to supply and distribute a vaccine for the coronavirus in Saudi Arabia.
Under the agreement, Spimaco will apply for the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Food and Drug Authority for all regulatory requirements related to the registration, supply and distribution of the vaccine, and then the final agreement on the commercial terms.
The German company said in a statement published on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) website that the vaccine is distinguished by its routine storage conditions of 2-8 degrees Celsius, which facilitates transportation and storage.
Muhammad Al-Sultan, CEO of Spimaco, said that CureVac conducted successful Phase I dose finding clinical trials and reached promising results to proceed to a phase IIb/III clinical trial, aiming to submit the registration file to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) during the first quarter of 2021, according to the plan set by the company.
The MoU included the possibility of extending the supply and distribution rights later to also include the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.
Dr. Abdullah Asiri, deputy minister of health, announced last week that the ministry will provide the coronavirus vaccine free of charge to all citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom, and that the plan aims to provide vaccinations to 70 percent of the Kingdom's population who were not exposed to the virus by the end of 2021.
The Saudi-German agreement is the second after the Saudi Chemical Holding Group had signed in September this year a MoU, through its pharmaceutical sector represented by the AJA Pharmaceutical Industries Co. (AJA Pharma) and the Saudi International Trading Company (SITCO Pharma), with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, to provide and distribute the vaccine.

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