THINGS are really looking good for us as far as the pandemic is concerned. Not only are anti-COVID-19 vaccines going to be available for Filipinos. They might be produced here in the country in the near future.
After President Rodrigo Duterte announced the government’s interest to buy 40 million doses of the said vaccines, Filipino pharmaceutical firm Glovax Biotech has partnered with a Korean vaccine manufacturer with the aim of producing the EuCorVac-19 in the Philippines.
Glovax said it is in talks with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Board of Investments for possible investment in the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine production facility.
Should the government order 40 million doses of the vaccine, the company will invest P7 billion for the manufacturing plant and technology transfer cost.
Glovax is the first and only company that brought the vaccine to the country during the AH1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009 to 2010.
The local COVID-19 vaccine plant is capable of producing 100 million doses of next-generation COVID-19 vaccine annually and could help alleviate our burden of waiting for other countries’ excess supply, according to Glovax.
The company said National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has endorsed Glovax to the Department of Science and Technology.
The pharma firm will be partnering with Korean firm Eubiologics to locally produce EuCorVac-19, which was developed in the United States by POP Biotechnologies.
EuCorVac-19 will be initially produced in South Korea before expanding in other markets like the Philippines.
Glovax and Eubiologics are in the process of applying for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The Eubiologics’ vaccine got the approval for combined Phase I and Phase II clinical trial from the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in January 2021.
Aside from Eubiologics, Glovax is also partnering with another Korean firm, LG Chem, to locally produce pentavalent vaccine which gives immunity against five major diseases — diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type B, an infection responsible for pneumonia and meningitis.
It is said that the Glovax proposal to produce the next generation COVID vaccine offers a lot of advantages as it can capture newer COVID-19 strains and other mutations unlike the first generation COVID-19 vaccines which are only 22 percent effective against the new South African strain and other new strains found around the world.
The storing requirement for the EuCorVac-19 is less demanding compared to the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines as Eubiologics’ vaccine can last for three months at 25°Celsius, or keep it for a longer period at 2°C to 8°C.
Glovax has sold more than five million doses of vaccines in the Philippines since 2003. The firm distributes vaccines against polio, tuberculosis, measles, tetanus, and rabies as well as pentavalent vaccines.
I hope the talks between Glovax and the government succeed.
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