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Hong Seng progressing towards an integrated healthcare group

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

In view of the challenges posed by the global pandemic, Hong Seng Consolidated Berhad (“Hong Seng”) (Stock Code: 0041) or formerly known as MSCM Holdings Berhad through its healthcare supply chain specialist, HS Bio Supplies Sdn Bhd (“HS Bio”) is working hard together with partners who are industry leaders in respective fields especially when it comes to fighting against Covid-19 playing our part and helping the nation as we are all in this together.

HS Bio aims to be an end-to-end healthcare supply chain company with its main expertise in the ability to provide third party and fourth party logistics (3PL & 4PL) services for healthcare industries through our strategic partnership with Line Clear Express & Logistics Sdn Bhd (“Line Clear”). This means HS Bio will have a wide and penetrative reach in the market to distribute and disseminate pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare supplies such as e-medicine, medical consumables, bio supplies, medical equipment or devices, test-kits, vaccines, supplements, and other medical and healthcare related products as well as healthcare related services such as mobile testing facilities in addition to the supply chain management services for the healthcare industry.

Digitalising the private healthcare sector through eMedAsia

eMedAsia provides an opportunity for the fragmented General Practitioners (“GP”) to be united under a digital platform to sail through in the era of industrial revolution 4.0. It is a platform by Doctors for Doctors…~ in the best interest of our patients.

Quote Dr. Thirunavukarasu Rajoo, Honorary General Secretary of Malaysia Medical Association, Chairman of Koperasi Persatuan Perubatan Malaysia (KOOP MMA) and Director of eMedAsia

Currently, eMedAsia Sdn Bhd (“eMedAsia”), a 52% subsidiary of HS Bio and the company that runs the platform of which aims at digitalising the private healthcare sector via technology solutions has about 2,000 private clinic members in Malaysia. eMedAsia is jointly owned by Koperasi Persatuan Perubatan Malaysia (“KOOP MMA”), the investment vehicle for members of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), which is the main representative body for all registered medical practitioners in Malaysia. MMA has 14,000 registered doctors in its association, and 35,000 doctors on its continuing professional development (CPD) platform.

Through this collaboration, HS Bio have the ability to empowers over 6,000 registered private clinics nationwide to leverage on technology to deliver end-to-end eHealthcare to millions of Malaysians by providing integrated solutions (3PL & 4PL, marketplace, payment, last mile delivery) to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to more Malaysians.

Quote Chris Chan, Director of eMedAsia.

In the case of Covid-19 RT-PCR tests, consumers or patients can easily have access to the clinics that are self-declared and trained to take swabs in conducting COVID 19 testing via the eMedAsia platform. They can book and get their digital certificates which are recognised by various authorities and the digital test certificates and results can also be easily integrated with the relevant authorities or travellers screening system for a seamless transmission of data. Essentially, the whole test screening process are streamlined through the platform facilitating no touch interactions and helps the doctors to conduct pre-assessment and digitalise the results and compliance towards to the various Ministry of Health’s guidelines.

eMedAsia will also be able to leverage on multiple diagnostics and pathology laboratory partners such as NeoGenix Laboratoire Sdn Bhd, and Geneflux Bioscience Sdn Bhd to offer consumers as well as its member clinics a wider range of lab services including Next Generation Sequencing (“NGS”) technology.

Boosting HS Bio’s capabilities and supply chain with NeoGenix’s expertise

With the logistics support of our partner Line Clear, NeoGenix aspires to be the lab that offers the fastest turnaround time for the RT-PCR test screenings which is less than 48 hours while others may take between 48 to 72 hours. Line Clear’s staff have also been properly instructed and directed on how to handle the test samples to ensure zero breakage and failure in deliveries.

Quote Dr. Kuan Chee Sian, Managing Director of NeoGenix who was recently awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Malaysians 2020 in Medical Innovation by Junior Chamber International Malaysia (JCI Malaysia).

In addition to eMedAsia’s strong network of private clinics nationwide, HS Bio has also acquired a 60% stake in NeoGenix Laboratoire Sdn Bhd (“NeoGenix”), a medical diagnostic and research and development (“R&D”) laboratory specialist in molecular infectious diseases and oncological testing, utilising the techniques of standard PCR, real-time PCR, microarray, mass spectrometry and NGS technologies.

NeoGenix is the one of the earliest private MOH-approved laboratory to provide Covid-19 molecular testing and real-time RT-PCR to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to diagnose active Covid-19 in assisting the country's effort to flatten the curve of infection.

In view of the crucial need of a medical diagnostic laboratory in screening the Covid-19 test samples collected nationwide, NeoGenix is planning to expand its capacity with additional two (2) labs in Klang Valley, two (2) labs including a mobile lab in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and one (1) lab in Johor to accommodate and prepare for the increasing demand in screenings in line with the recent spike in cases.

Gearing up for a post Covid-19 future

As most of us are aware, Covid-19 won’t be the last pandemic to hit us and there will be more and potentially more damaging pandemics that will occur in the near future. Thus, precision medicine which is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person will be a key medical solution in tackling diseases that have thus far eluded effective treatments or cures. This approach will allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work in which groups of people.

Planning ahead, HS Bio through NeoGenix is setting up a R&D team to develop more testing assay with The College of American Pathologist’s (“CAP”) accreditation for early cancer or diseases detection tests such as human papillomavirus (“HPV”), also the culprit that causes human cervical cancer.

NeoGenix also offers various genomics services and NGS technologies as part of precision medicine for cancer treatment in which consumers may be able to get themselves tested at eMedAsia’s member clinics for detection of viruses’ genes.

Hong Seng aims to support the nation in its fight against the pandemic

With the synergies of our current glove manufacturing business together with our upcoming nitrile butadiene latex (“NBL”) manufacturing business and integrated logistic services such as feedstock tank farm storage and delivery trucking, Hong Seng aims to be an integrated glove and NBL manufacturer in Malaysia by having both upstream and downstream segments of the glove manufacturing supply chain.

Quote Dato’ Teoh Hai Hin, Executive Chairman of Hong Seng

As part of our support in the fight against the pandemic, HS Bio has sponsored two automatic real time test screening machines and PCR test kits to the authority of Sabah during the last outbreak when help was needed to ramp up testing.

Other than that, HS Bio though its subsidiary, Pantasniaga Sdn Bhd (“Pantasniaga”), a partner of BGI Genomics Co. Ltd which is a global leader in genomic sequencing services and proteomic services and the developer of the pioneer products and solutions used by the China Government during the beginning of the outbreak have also supplied PCR test kits to Malaysian government to curb the outbreak in Sabah.

With sourcing and distribution capabilities of Covid-19 and medical supplies coupled with the nationwide reach of eMedAsia’s network of potentially up to 6,000 private clinics in Malaysia, HS Bio aims to lower down the cost of PCR test screenings for the public without compromising on quality and turnaround time as we are ready with the necessary preparation for a mass scale of affordable PCR test screenings ecosystem.

Not only that, the Group through its glove manufacturing arm, Hong Seng Gloves Sdn Bhd (“HS Gloves”) has started commissioning six (6) units of Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (“NBR”) double former glove dipping production lines with utilities support system for its plant located at Sungai Petani, Kedah.

The plant is expected to commence its first glove production by April 2021 and the company aims to expand to 16 production lines to produce up to 3.87 billion pieces of gloves per annum by August 2022.

In a recent announcement, the Group is also in the midst of acquiring a 105 acres land in Kedah Rubber City which is intended for its NBL plant. NBL is the main and crucial raw material used for the production of nitrile gloves which accounted for 70% of the total gloves exported from Malaysia according to Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (“MARGMA”).

Due to the unprecedented demand and production of highly sought-after nitrile gloves caused by the pandemic, there is a shortage in NBL across the world leading to all-time high cost in securing NBL supply. Currently, there are many gloves players emerging in the market, however, not all of them have secured their NBL supply which may cause serious operational risks and unexpected material costs in the nitrile glove production as they may face a supply cut causing operation halts or procure its NBL supply at a premium cost thus affecting their margins.

Hence, by setting up its own NBL plant, it will provide a timely opportunity to secure constant internal supply for our subsidiary, HS Gloves’s plant in Kedah and at the same time, filling the vacuum in the NBL shortage to capture the market.

Furthermore, Hong Seng also intends to venture into providing integrated logistics services such as feedstock tank farm storage and delivery trucking for NBL players through its wholly-owned subsidiary, HS Petchem Logistics Sdn Bhd which will enable the Group to be at the forefront of the glove production supply chain.

With all the above businesses and partnerships, Hong Seng is moulding itself to be an integrated healthcare group which has the capabilities and resources to uphold the nation’s wellbeing.

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