Coronavirus VaccinesThailand

Thailand’s plant-based Covid-19 vaccine ready for phase 1 trials

PHOTO: Steven Cornfield for Unsplash

The Baiya vaccine, a plant-based Covid-19 vaccine being developed in Thailand, is ready to begin phase 1 clinical trials this month. The Bangkok Post reports that the vaccine is being developed by Baiya Phytopharm, at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. The company’s founder, Waranyoo Phoolcharoen, says human trials can begin once Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration has finished reviewing information about the manufacturing process.

Subject to the success of clinical trials, the vaccine will go into production next year and if all goes to plan, should be rolled out by the third quarter of 2022. According to the Bangkok Post report, the Baiya vaccine uses an Australian tobacco strain that has low nicotine levels. The leaves are used as a host to grow a genetically engineered protein. That protein is then removed from the leaves and used to produce a Covid-19 vaccine that produces antibodies against the virus.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Baiya Phytopharm, Suthira Taychakhoonavudh, says the firm also hopes to develop a second-generation vaccine to offer even stronger protection, but says this depends on the results from phase 1 trials. She says it’s her belief that Thailand has great potential for vaccine research and development.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Maya Taylor

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