Major producers are now in the race to produce the H1N1 vaccine. Obviously the dollar stakes are extremely high. Getting a contract to supply any country will represent enormous revenues for the manufacturer.
Recently the China company Sinovac claimed to be able to produce the vaccine by the end of the month and to have it out into the market by September after a 2 month clinical trial.
Novartis and Baxter using cell culture techniques, both made claims to be ready for clinical trials this month.
GSK, Sanofi and Australia's CSL are somewhat slower with the egg based methods and are projecting perhaps availability for trials in about September.
Efficacy and toxicity data for any of these vaccines will depend on clinical trials that are all yet to be conducted.
I am curious though, in a situation like this how does one decide who to contract the vaccine supply to? Would the MOH follow the usual GEBIZ open tender process? Or would they go down the road of a preferred supplier?
To what extent would this decision be coloured by the fact that of these companies, Novartis and GSK are huge investors here in Singapore, and are significant industrial partners in the manufacture of biologics and pharmaceuticals? Both Novartis and GSK have invested in excess of S$1 billion in Singapore.
Who would we eventually award the contract to?
If I were a betting person I would probably place my bets on the GSK vaccine. But I am not....so your guess is as good as mine.
5 years ago