Friday, November 15, 2013

World's first dengue vaccine

KUANTAN: A vaccine to treat dengue fever – the first in the world – is targeted for production in 2018.
Pahang Technology Resources Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Sazali Mohd Nor said the entire project development would take at least five years, noting that the period was necessary to ensure that it was completely fit and safe to be used.
“The first phase of two years involve research and development, construction design, product design and formulation as well as pre-clinical studies on rodents in institutes in Russia.
“During this process, Malaysian scientists will participate via an exchange programme to acquire knowledge and technology.
“The second phase of another two years will involve pre-clinical studies on primates in Malaysia,” he said after the opening of the biotechnology investment and convention here yesterday.
Sazali said that towards the end of the fourth year, the vaccine would be registered with the Health Ministry.
He said the intellectual property of the vaccine would be co-shared by Malaysian and Russian parties.
“By the beginning of the fifth year, pre-marketing and sales will commence. A total of RM240mil will be invested over five years for the three phases,” he said.
He said a special purpose vehicle – Pahang Applied Advance Pharma Sdn Bhd (PAAP) – had been set up to launch a new full-scale project on transfer of technology from Russia to Malaysia.
Among the transfers include training qualified Malaysian personnel in the field of genetic vaccine, intellectual property sharing, research and development of dengue fever vaccine and product commercialisation and construction of a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical plant in Gambang.
Sazali said PAAP would have the right to manufacture, promote and market the product throughout the Asia-Pacific region and Islamic countries.
He said the return of investment was expected to be achieved within two years of production.
Presently, dengue fever is endemic in over 100 countries in Asia, the Pacific, America, Africa and the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, Pahang executive councillor Datuk Mohd Soffi Abdul Razak, who opened the event on behalf of Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, said Pahang was committed to embracing biotechnology as the way forward to generate investments.

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