Indonesia Interested in U.S. COVID-19 Drugs Made by Merck, Atea, And Roche

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan speaks in a virtual press conference on the extension of public activity restrictions (PPKM) on Monday, September 20, 2021. YouTube

    Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan speaks in a virtual press conference on the extension of public activity restrictions (PPKM) on Monday, September 20, 2021. YouTube

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in a press conference on Monday said that the government is open to possibilities of establishing new partnerships with COVID-19 drug producers. 

    “The Health Minister and I are currently in the United States of America to hold a meeting with Merck regarding the Molnupiravir drug,” he said on October 18.

    Apart from Merck, he said the government is also interested in another drug, Proxalutamide, which is currently undergoing its third clinical trial in Indonesia and is processed by the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM). Another option is the AT-527 developed by Roche and Atea Pharmaceutical. 

    He said the three drugs showed the potentials of being effective drugs to treat COVID-19. He added that the government’s interest does not stop at being a buyer, but to establish a partnership and invest in its production in Indonesia. 

    During the same press conference, Luhut Pandjaitan explained that active COVID-19 cases in Java-Bali continued to dwindle. He also assured people that the government is prepared to face another possible wave of COVID-19 as the Christmas and New Year holidays arrive. 

    Indonesia is currently logging 18 thousand active cases, with Java and Bali islands recording less than seven thousand. The figures are considerably lower than the 570 thousand active cases during the Delta variant peak. 

    Read: Jokowi Instructs Vaccine Boosters to Be Offered in 2022

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