Pharmaniaga, Duopharma among Bursa top gainers on Covid-19 vaccine-fueled ascent

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 10): Pharmaniaga Bhd and Duopharma Biotech Bhd rose among Bursa Malaysia top gainers in afternoon trades today as pharmaceutical companies continue to enjoy investor attention on increasing Covid-19 vaccine hopes.

At 2:44pm today, Pharmaniaga rose 33 sen or 7.42% to RM4.78 while Duopharma climbed 30 sen or 10.42% to RM3.18.

Pharmaniaga and Duopharma pared gains after rising to their highest so far today at RM5 and RM3.40 respectively.

Pharmaniaga and Duopharma’s share price rise today could have followed news reports yesterday (Aug 9) that Saudi Arabia will soon begin Phase III clinical trials on around 5,000 people for a Covid-19 vaccine developed by China's CanSino Biologics Inc.

Reuters, quoting a Saudi health ministry spokesman, reported yesterday that last month, CanSino's co-founder said the company was in talks with Russia, Brazil, Chile and Saudi Arabia to launch the Phase III trial of the vaccine candidate, Ad5-nCOV.

"The vaccine uses a harmless cold virus known as adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) to carry genetic material from the coronavirus into the body. Researchers said last month that CanSino's vaccine, co-developed with China's military research unit, appeared to be safe and induced immune responses in most subjects,” the newswire reported.