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Japan’s Shionogi to transfer Covid-19 vaccine production tech to Vietnam

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnamese firms Vabiotech and Advanced International JSC, or AIC, have signed a deal on technology transfer to produce a Covid-19 vaccine with Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi, a Health Ministry official said.

Nguyen Ngo Quang, deputy head of the Health Ministry’s Administration of Science, Technology and Training, said that the deal between local firms and Japan’s Shionogi was subject to a confidentiality agreement.

Quang added that the vaccine will be produced based on the recombinant Covid-19 spike protein technology. Vietnam is preparing to carry out the third phase of clinical trials for the Japanese Covid vaccine.

Vabiotech is in charge of conducting tech transfer procedures. The tech transfer is expected to be completed by June next year and the vaccine will then be launched for domestic use.

According to Japan’s public broadcaster Nikkei, Shionogi will use the recombinant Covid-19 spike protein technology to produce a Japanese Covid-19 vaccine. The firm started conducting clinical trials for the vaccine on 200 volunteers in December last year. The vaccine is undergoing the second phase of the clinical trial and will start the third phase by the end of this September.

Accordingly, up to now, Vietnam has reached agreements on technology transfer for Covid-19 vaccines with Russia, the United States and Japan.

Earlier, the State-owned Vabiotech had packaged its first batch of the Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine tubes from the semi-finished products and sent its sample tubes to Russia for a quality evaluation. The result of the quality checks is expected to be available on August 10. After that, the Sputnik-V vaccine tubes would be produced with a monthly volume of five million doses, before being scaled up to 100 million doses per year under the tech transfer contract.

As for tech transfer projects with the U.S., the Health Ministry has sent an expert team to coordinate with the World Health Organization to support the relevant units in completing the dossiers of clinical trials. The research was scheduled to begin on August 1 and end by the end of December.

Further, the tech transfer and the development of a vaccine manufacturing plant in Vietnam is expected to be completed by June next year.

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