Domestic factory to use same vaccine technology as Pfizer: Minister

Domestic factory to use same vaccine technology as Pfizer: Minister

Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, visited PT Etana Biotechnologies Indonesia in Pulogadung, East Jakarta on Tuesday (September 7, 2021) pertaining to the production plan of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. ANTARA/HO-Kemenko Kemaritiman dan Investasi/pri.

Yesterday, I visited a vaccine factory candidate currently established in Pulogadung. It utilizes the most advanced technology that Pfizer has: mRNA. Now, we 'steal' the technology by cooperating with other partners
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vaccine factory PT Etana Biotechnologies Indonesia, East Jakarta will develop its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine by using the same technology as Pfizer, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has said.

During the launch of the 'Proud of Made in Indonesia Products #PasarLautIndonesia' in Aceh, televised here on Wednesday, the minister said that he visited the factory located in Pulogadung, East Jakarta, the day before.

“Yesterday, I visited a vaccine factory candidate currently established in Pulogadung. It utilizes the most advanced technology that Pfizer has: mRNA. Now, we 'steal’ the technology by cooperating with other partners,” he remarked.

Etana Biotechnologies Indonesia plans to produce mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in cooperation with Walvax Biotechnology, a Chinese company involved in research, development, production, and distribution of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and blood products.

Etana is ready to produce vaccines, Pandjaitan informed, adding that its production readiness has been reviewed by Indonesian Drug and Food Monitoring Agency (BPOM) chief Penny Lukito.

The company will produce vaccines from June-July 2022, with total production estimated at 30 million doses at the early stage, the minister said.

Related news: COVID-19: Indonesia to manufacture two vaccine types in 2022

“Now, the process is ongoing. We will see it starts refilling in December (2021). If it obtains the emergency-use authorization, the production will start in June-July next year with 30 million doses of the total at the first stage and 70 million doses later,” he added.

Pandjaitan said the government is also continuing to support the Merah Putih vaccine's development.

However, technology transfer is required to make a big leap in vaccine development, he added.

“Any of our partners who are keen on technology transfer, we will take the offer in order that we can create leapfrog. While we ‘steal’ its technology, we learn it, then we can leap,” he remarked.

The support for the company to produce indigenous vaccines mirrors the government’s alignment with local products, according to Pandjaitan.

He also assured the government will not only promote use of high technology in the production of local products, but also those produced by MSMEs players.

“Local products with or without high tech should be in line with MSMEs and also become parts of local products,” he remarked.

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