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Thai Covid-19 experimental vaccine to proceed to human testing from April 2021




A Thai start-up developing an experimental Covid-19 vaccine is said to be making good progress, with the candidate passing testing on laboratory animals. Baiya Phytopharm, a Thai firm developing a vaccine from plant leaves, is to sign an agreement to begin production for use in human trials. Thewin Wongwanich, from the State Enterprise Development Planning Subcommittee, says the firm is one of several Thai companies working on a vaccine to combat the virus.

“One of those with a high success rate is Baiya Phytopharm, a Thai start-up founded by researchers from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences whose vaccine from plant leaves has passed tests on laboratory animals.”

Baiya Phytopharm’s agreement is with the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation and Kingen Biotech, a Bangkok pharmaceutical firm. The deal will govern vaccine production and human testing from April to June 2021. On Friday, Baiya Phytopharm will launch a fundraising project to raise the necessary 500 million baht and Thewin says Thais are being asked to chip in.

“We would like to invite Thais to donate 500 baht each via CU Enterprise to support Thai researchers.”

A number of vaccines have so far proved effective in phase 3 trials, including a vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, developed in conjunction with German biotechnology firm BioNTech, another from US technology company Moderna, and a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, in partnership with Oxford University in the UK.

Singapore has confirmed it has approved the Pfizer-BionNTech vaccine and is preparing to receive supplies by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Thailand has signed a 6 billion baht agreement to procure 26 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University jab, with roll-out expected to begin by mid-2021.

The Thai biotechnology firm Siam Bioscience has also signed a technology-transfer agreement to start production of the vaccine within the first 6 months of the year.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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