Bandung, W.Java (ANTARA News) - National vaccine manufacturer PT Bio Farma here on Wednesday received the prototype of an Avian Influenza (AI) vaccine developed by University of Indonesia (UI) researchers.

"We have received this AI vaccine prototype as the government`s initial support to Bio Farma to speed up its efforts to produce an AI vaccine through research and development in order to support the Decade of Vaccines 2020," PT Bio Farma Director Iskandar said on the occasion.

The Avian Influenza (AI) vaccine prototype was initially handed by the UI researchers to the Minister of Research and Technology whp later passed it on to the Ministry of Health for further conveyance to PT Bio Farma.

Iskandar said the prototype`s presentation to Bio Farma happened at a time when AI cases had reemerged in Indonesia where the disease was endemic.

The presentation of the AI vaccine prototype to Bio Farma was followed by the signing of a nemorandum of understanding on cooperation to reduce Indonesia`s dependence on foreign sources or suppliers to meet its need for raw materials to manufacture vaccines.

The cooperation involved 16 stakeholders consisting of academics, businesses and government (ABG).

The academic group was represented by the University of Indonesia (UI), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), University of Padjadjaran, University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), University of Sebelas Maret, University of Al-Azhar, University of Hasanudin and University of Airlangga.

PT Bio Farma and Indofarma represented the business groups, while the government was represented by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Research and Technology, Board of Development and Application of Technology (BPPT), Board of Research and Development of Health, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) as well as Eijkman Institute.

"We hope through the cooperation agreed on in the memorandum signed today research on and development of vaccines will be accelerated. Producing one type of vaccine normally takes about 15 years but Bio Farma was confident through the ABG synergy a short cut could be made to produce a vaccine. The first step was re-explored through the ABG synergy conducted by Bio Farma to hold again the National Vaccine Research Forum (FVRN).

FVRN is an advanced program of the National Vaccine Research Symposium Independence in the past year which has resulted eight consortium for research and development of future vaccine research, such as dengue vaccine, malaria vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, influenza vaccine, New TB vaccines, delivery systems, and policies.

FVRN is scheduled to be held in August 2012 in order to commemorate the 122nd anniversary of Bio Farma, Iskandar noted.

The progress of the research and development of the first FVRN which was very significant occurred in the consortium of New TB vaccine and dengue vaccine. The New TB vaccine alone has been developed since 2009 by using the latest platforms technology.

The consortium was composed of several people coming from various universities and research institutions both within and outside the country who had a concern and responsibility in meeting the needs of the vaccine supply. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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