Nov 03, 2021 / 21:14

AstraZeneca announces new investment in Vietnam

AstraZeneca will supply 25 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to Vietnam in December, lifting the total to 55 million.

Multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced VND2 trillion (US$88 million) to help Vietnam improve the domestic pharmaceutical production capacity, totaling its investment in the Southeast Asian country to $308 million for 2020-2024.

 Representatives of AstraZeneca and Vietnam Vaccine JSC sign deals under the witness of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Photo: Le Kien/ Tuoi Tre

The agreement was inked between AstraZeneca (AZ) and its Vietnamese partners on Nov 2 in Edinburgh, Scotland under the witness of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The latest investment is aimed to roll out three important kinds of drugs produced in Vietnam by AZ in the 2022-2030 period. In a broader move, its investment accelerates AstraZeneca’s existing efforts to expand access to healthcare and to improve the quality of healthcare delivery for Vietnamese patients. In addition, AstraZeneca will continue to drive the development of biomedical science and innovation in Vietnam through clinical research and R&D.

Accordingly, AZ will select a Vietnamese partner to transfer technology on producing world-standard drugs in Vietnam against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

In addition, AZ and Vietnam Vaccine JSC (VNVC) signed a deal to supply 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam, totaling 55 million from the first delivery to the country in early 2021. AstraZeneca will also supply long-acting antibody AZD7442 that helps reduce the risk of severe or fatal Covid-19. Once getting approval from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health approval, Vietnam will be one of the first countries to access this antibody.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, PM Chinh thanked AstraZeneca for being the first supplier of the Covid-19 vaccine for Vietnam. So far, Vietnam has received around 22 million doses bought from AZ and nearly 30 million doses from the COVAX Facility through donations and reselling from other countries thanks to the AZ agreement.

Chinh highlighted the importance of vaccination in the pandemic fight in Vietnam. He said Vietnam is switching to flexible adaptation to Covid-19, enabling the country to reopen the economy.

“We look forward to a long-term strategic cooperation with AstraZeneca and hope that the firm's investment will help improve Vietnam's capacity against the pandemic and the pharmaceutical industry,” Chinh said.

“What we have cooperated so far is the beginning of a long-term strategic journey between the two sides.”

Chinh affirmed that Vietnam will facilitate AZ's investment to serve its 100-million-people market and export as the country is a signatory of 17 free trade agreements (FTAs) with 60 countries and territories, including economic powers.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said the latest investment will enable Vietnam to produce drugs for better treatment and it will complete delivering 30 million doses under a contract signed last year within November and start supplying the first doses of the second 25-million dose contract in December.  

Chairman and General Director of AstraZeneca Vietnam Nitin Kapoor said the signing ceremony was a milestone in the 27-year cooperation between AZ and the Government of Vietnam.