Indonesia’s major pharmaceutical companies are working with foreign partners to produce COVID-19 vaccines. To support the development of early stage of vaccine development, the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology had allocated USD 500,000 in funding. The two biggest pharmaceutical companies in Indonesia, Bio Farma and Kalbe Farma, are expected to take the lead.
Bio Farma, a state-owned pharmaceutical company and the only vaccine maker in the country, is partnering with China’s Sinovac Biotech to create a COVID-19 vaccine aiming for it to be available in the country early next year. Under this arrangement, Sinovac will supply Bio Farma with the active pharmaceutical ingredient, which Bio Farma will then formulate and fill-finish. Sinovac will be performing the clinical trials in Indonesia in the third quarter of 2020.
Apart from Sinovac, Bio Farma is also part of a consortium consisting of Indonesian universities and research agencies led by Jakarta-based Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology to develop vaccines locally. The consortium has set a goal to have a prototype vaccine ready by the first quarter of 2021. The partnership is also expected to enhance Bio Farma’s capacity in vaccine making, which currently can produce up to two billion doses of vaccines every year.
Apart from Bio Farma, Kalbe Farma has penned an agreement with Genexine, a South Korean biotechnology company, to perform clinical trials for a vaccine prototype developed by a South Korean consortium of biotech companies and research organizations. The initial phase of human clinical trials was conducted in Korea in June 2020 and Kalbe Farma will take part in the second phase trial for efficacy and dose range in Indonesia. The mass production of the vaccine will only be available in early 2022, with Genexine distributing the vaccine in Indonesia through Kalbe Farma. The company hoped it will be able to make the vaccines five years after they are first produced in South Korea.
On top of these developments, Indonesia also participated in a World Health Organization Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 treatment with 22 hospitals comparing the four different drugs effectiveness, including Remdesivir. Hospitals can begin trial of the drugs after securing ethical committee’s approval.
(Source: The Straits Times)