"We are currently in the process of developing a recombinant protein," Brodjonegoro, concurrently chief of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), stated in a YouTube video in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The Ejikman Molecular Biology Institute has forecast the prototype of the COVID-19 vaccine to be produced in a year, starting from March 2020, so it will be available in March or April 2021.
The prototype of the vaccine will later be tested on humans during the clinical test phase. Pharmaceutical company PT Biofarma will produce the vaccine en masse after it clears the clinical test.
The Health Ministry will handle the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine for use for the entire Indonesian nation, he remarked.
Development of the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the targets of the COVID-19 Research and Innovation Consortium set up by the Ministry of Research and Technology.
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The research and development of the vaccine is led by the Ejikman Molecular Biology Institute that comprises several institutes of higher learning and research institutes, such as the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), and PT Biofarma.
The recombinant protein developed in Indonesia is the protein representing protein S, or spike, and protein N, or nukleokapsid, of the SARS-CoV-2 virus circulating in Indonesia.
To obtain the appropriate recombinant protein, the institute has begun producing large quantities of whole virus genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus circulating in Indonesia.
The institute has, until now, collected data of seven whole virus genome sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while Airlangga University in Surabaya, East Java, has collected data of two whole virus genome sequences that had been sent to GISAID.
GISAID manages the data bank for the results of whole genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from all across the world.
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