TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Research and Technology and Chief of the National Research and Innovation agency (BRIN) Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro, said that he is expecting the country's merah putih vaccine clinical trials will be able to be commenced early in 2021.
"We surely hope this attempt will show positive results next year through clinical trials which we hope could be implemented early next year. A large scale production is also hoped to begin after three clinical trials are completed," said Bambang in the Thee Kian Wie Lecture Series V virtual seminar on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.
According to Bambang, the development of the merah putih vaccine is 40 percent completed as the Eijkman team is producing an antigen. Bambang also informed that the candidate vaccine seeds will later be tested on mammal cells. Once the candidate vaccine passes the non-human tests, it will then be handed to state-pharmaceutical firm Bio Farma.
Bambang assured that the Indonesian government will continue to partner with international communities in developing a home-grown vaccine.
"We must also maintain self-reliance as Indonesia's 270 million population must not just depend on readily available vaccines from overseas," said Bambang. "We must have the ability to not just produce them, but also conduct studies and develop vaccine seeds that are being done by the Eijkman Institute with the merah putih vaccine."