PH negotiating with 25 Covid-19 vaccine developers

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

January 22, 2021, 7:51 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

(PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The Philippines is currently negotiating with 25 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine developers from 10 countries, according to Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña in a taped report aired Friday afternoon.

These developers are not only those who expressed interest to conduct clinical trials in the country but also those whose intentions are for vaccine distribution and local manufacturing, he said.

He said six of the 25 developers are from China, six from the USA, three from Chinese Taipei, two each from Russia, Australia, Germany; and one each from India, Japan, UK, and Canada.

As for the confidentiality disclosure agreement, de la Peña said the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection already signed a total of 12 with the following: Janssen, Sinovac Biotech, AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Research Institute, Sinopharm Group, Anhui Zhifei, University of Queensland, Adimmune Corporation, Academia Sinica, Tianyuan Biopharma, Bharat Biotech and CureVac.

Exploratory talks with CureVac and IDT Biologika, both from Germany, were held recently to discuss possible avenues for cooperation, de la Peña shared.

Among the 25 vaccine developers, there are 19 that have expressed interest to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines.

"Some of those that have progressed in their clinical application include the following: Janssen Pharmaceuticals which may begin the clinical trial 'hopefully within the month', and Clover Biopharmaceuticals whose application was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) this month," he said.

Sinovac already received clearance from both the Vaccine Expert Panel and the Ethic Boards, and FDA approval last January 15 for the conduct of their clinical trial in the Philippines, he added.

Pfizer, AstraZenica, Gamaleya Sinovac and Bharat Biotech have applied an emergency use authorization from the FDA, according to the DOST chief.

Meanwhile, de la Peña said the country is now preparing for the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Vaccine Trials, though there is no schedule for this yet.

"The Philippine team is continuously recruiting personnel needed, and coordinating with relevant government agencies and LGUs (local government units) for the preparations for the conduct of the clinical trials while awaiting the final SOPs (standard operating procedures) and specific protocols from WHO," he said.

The Philippine team has already started the lecture training about the protection, safety and well-being of the participants as well as how adverse events should be recorded and reported during the vaccine clinical trials.

DOST already sent a follow-up letter to the WHO Country Office regarding the final start date of the Solidarity Vaccine Trial in the Philippines, he said. (PNA)