TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The National Research Agency (BRIN) acting deputy of innovation strengthening, Erry Ricardo Nurzal, on Monday said the agency had spent up to Rp200 billion for the development of the home-grown Merah Putih vaccine to combat COVID-19.
“That is from this year’s budget where BRIN specifically allocated it for the vaccine [development],” said Nurzal in a virtual event held by the Society of Indonesian Science Journalism on Monday, August 23.
The vaccine’s development is currently jointly handled by seven instances, viz. Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), University of Indonesia (UI), Airlangga University, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Gadjah Mada University (UGM), and Padjadjaran University.
The Merah Putih vaccine’s development kicked off in 2020 with a financial backing of Rp20 billion stemming from the Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), which he said Airlangga University had already received part of.
“This is really important to build technological capacity that will hopefully prepare us for future viruses,” said the BRIN representative.
He explained the funds would be used to support the establishment of facilities such as GMP and BSL 3 in order to successfully develop the Merah Putih vaccine that would be needed to gain the approval of the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM).
MOH KHORY ALFARIZI