Indonesia joins with South Korea in COVID-19 vaccine push

30 July, 2020 | Source: Antara News

Indonesia is working with South Korea to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease, in addition to collaborating with China.

As part of the collaboration, Indonesia’s PT Kalbe Farma has joined with South Korea′s Genexine, which is currently conducting a phase 1 clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea. The trial will end next August.

"While phase 2 clinical trials are planned to begin in Indonesia in September or October, 2020," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a virtual press conference from Jakarta on Thursday.

“(The collaboration of) Kalbe Farma with Genexine from South Korea (involves) using a (technological) platform for (the development of) DNA vaccine types," she continued.

According to Retno, the Indonesian Embassy and the Indonesian ambassador in Seoul have facilitated discussions between the two companies on the collaboration since last June.

Kalbe Farma and Genexine are still discussing cooperation on vaccine development, including the number of samples to be developed for the second phase of clinical trials and other arrangements.

In addition to South Korea, Indonesian company PT Bio Farma is also exploring opportunities for cooperation with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) for the development and production of vaccines.

"At present, Bio Farma has entered into the shortlist potential manufacturer for CEPI Covid-19 vaccine," Retno said.

CEPI is among the leading public-private partnership institutions for vaccine development. At least six COVID-19 vaccine candidates have been developed through the initiative, namely by Inovio, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, and Clover Biopharmaceuticals.

Foreign Minister Retno stressed that Indonesia would continue to intensify diplomatic efforts to help meet the requirement for vaccines, medical devices, and medicines for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, on July 19, 2020, Bio Farma had received 2,400 COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac for phase 3 clinical trials in Indonesia.

Candidates for the vaccine developed by the Chinese company will be clinically tested from August, 2020 and the trial is targeted for completion in January, 2021.

 

President Joko Widodo recently signed a regulation specifying the procurement and immunization schedule for the COVID-19 vaccine for Indonesia, which has been battling the deadly disease since March 2 this year.
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