Red-and-White vaccine development 60 percent complete: Eijkman

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology has stated that the development of the indigenous Red-and-White vaccine has reached 60 percent on the laboratory scale.

"Calculated in terms of the percentage, it is at around 60 percent, which means we are still in the process of isolating and characterizing the recombinant protein that we have designed, which will be generated by mammal cells or yeast cells," head of the institute, Amin Soebandrio, told ANTARA in Jakarta on Wednesday.

According to the planned schedule, the Red-and-White vaccine seeds will be submitted to PT Bio Farma in the period leading up to March, 2021, he informed.The Red-and-White vaccine developed by Eijkman is based on recombinant protein subunits and uses the SARS-CoV-2 virus isolate circulating in Indonesia. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Soebandrio said that if the recombinant protein is successfully obtained from the expression system, the process could be taken to the preclinical testing stage involving animals.

"After (isolating and characterizing the recombinant protein) it will be tested on animals, and then submitted to Bio Farma," he stated.

Preclinical testing on animals will take about one to two months, he informed.

The challenge to developing the vaccine includes the varying speed of growth among the cells Eijkman researchers are working with, so the process needs to be followed thoroughly until the targeted recombinant protein is obtained, he explained.

After the vaccine seeds are submitted to PT Bio Farma, it will formulate the vaccine seeds so that they can be prepared for clinical trials in humans, he said.

Phase I human trials for the vaccine are scheduled to be carried out in the second trimester of 2021, he added. (INE)

Source: Antara News

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