TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A meeting on Monday between Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Andika Perkasa, and Head of the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM) Penny Lukito produced a memorandum of understanding ensuring that the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) would become the main location for research on dendritic cell treatment.
The treatment is hoped to become the initial step to find a solution to improve one's immunity against COVID-19.
Citing a written statement from the Indonesian Army's public relations, the MoU signing was witnessed by Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy.
The statement also explained the guidelines of the research will align with the law and that it will be autologous, which can only be used by the patient itself and will not be subject to commercial use and will not need distribution permit approval.
TNI asserted that this research was not a continuation of the Nusantara vaccine research, which was also developed at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital. The difference is that the Nusantara uses dendritic cells as the basis for its so-called vaccine.
“The phase one of clinical trial that many touted as the Nusantara vaccine must still respond to the BPOM’s findings that are considered critical and major,” the statement read.
The Nusantara vaccine was initiated by former health minister Terawan Agus Putranto, who was replaced by Budi Gunadi Sadikin. The development of the vaccine has stirred controversies and attracted criticism from experts in the field as it does not meet scientific principles established by BPOM.
The development of the Nusantara vaccine still proceeds to date with a partnership with US-based AIVITA Biomedical despite the absence of a BPOM permit.