KUALA LUMPUR (July 27): Shares in Pharmaniaga Bhd and Duopharma Biotech Bhd saw gains today, constituting part of the top 10 gainers on the local bourse, as recent news of progress in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine spurred investor sentiment.
As of 11.09am, shares in Pharmaniaga were up by 9.64% or 35 sen at RM3.98 per share, valuing the company at some RM1.04 billion. In terms of trading volume, the counter saw 5.21 million shares done.
The stock earlier rose by as much as 12.67% in morning trade to a high of RM4.09 per share at 10.55am after having initially dipping to a low of RM3.64.
The Covid-19 lockdown measures enforced over the last few months have presented an unprecedented challenge for small businesses in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, shares in Duopharma were up by as much as 11.45% this morning, reaching a high of RM2.92. At the time of writing, the stock was up by 9.16% or 24 sen to RM2.86, valuing the company at some RM1.96 billion.
It saw 28.11 million shares done.
Both counters rebounded from last Friday’s losses, which were mainly attributable to investors taking profit.
Interest in Pharmaniaga and Duopharma has recently been driven by developments surrounding the formulation and distribution of a vaccine for Covid-19 — as the two counters have been tapped by the government to package the vaccine for use in Malaysia once it has been created and that supply has been secured.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that across the causeway, Singapore will be starting human trials as early as this week for a Covid-19 vaccine, which is being developed by the Duke-NUS Medical School and US pharmaceutical company Acturus Therapeutics.
Quoting The Straits Times, the “Lunar-Cov19” is among the 25 vaccine candidates globally to reach the human-trial stage, and it will be tested on 108 healthy volunteers of various ages in the city state.
Meanwhile, Bill Gates-backed South Korean pharmaceutical company SK Bioscience may be capable of producing 200 million Covid-19 kits by next June.
Bloomberg reported that Gates had communicated this to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.