Cooperation in vaccine development between China and Indonesia to expand and deepen
Published: Nov 17, 2022 02:01 AM
A student receives a shot of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at a high school in Surabaya, Indonesia on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

A student receives a shot of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at a high school in Surabaya, Indonesia on September 15, 2022. Photo: AFP

Cooperation in the field of vaccine between China and Indonesia continue to expand and deepen to jointly fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, with multiple Chinese biological pharmaceutical enterprises and Indonesian companies signing agreements of cooperation during the 2022 G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

During the summit, Indonesian biological pharmaceutical company PT Etana Biotechnologies Indonesia (Etana) signed agreements with three Chinese companies including CanSino Biologics Inc, Walvax Biotechnology Co, and Abogen Biosciences.

The Global Times learned that the content of the cooperation including the agreements on the inhaled tuberculosis (TB) vaccine, Meningitis vaccine and the facilities for the construction of virus carrier platform reached by Etana and CanSino Biologics (CanSinoBIO), the agreement on the vaccine development of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and human papillomavirus vaccines between Etana and Walvax, and the agreement on the research and development of mRNA therapies including COVID-19 vaccines, Dengue vaccine and products related to tumors between Etana and Abogen.

According to Nathan Tirtana, founder and CEO of Etana, the company hope to take advantage of this opportunity to help the Indonesian Ministry of Health achieve its goals and ensure the fair distribution of vaccines, medicines and medical devices among different countries, especially the developing countries.

The Global Times learned from CanSinoBIO that the two companies will promote joint development and commercialization of innovative vaccine products based on their respective advantages and help Indonesia build a regional vaccine production center.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, cooperation in the field of health between China and Indonesia has increased. Particularly, the cooperation in vaccine has always been at the forefront of the world.

China was the first country to cooperate with Indonesia in the research and development of vaccines and specific medicines for COVID-19. China has also supported Indonesia in establishing a regional vaccine production center and is one of the largest suppliers of COVID-19 vaccines to Indonesia. Meanwhile, Indonesia was also one of the first countries to provide material assistance to China after the COVID-19 outbreak.

So far, COVID-19 vaccines of multiple Chinese companies including Sinovac Biotech, China National Biotec Group (CNBG), CanSinoBIO and BioKangtai have been approved for use in Indonesia.

Sinovac has supplied more than 280 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Indonesia including over 130 million doses exported as semi-finished products, the Global Times learned from the company.

BioKangtai started production of the adenovirus vector vaccine for COVID-19 in February of 2021, and the vaccine was approved for emergency use in Indonesia on October 31, 2021. The company signed a purchase agreement on the vaccine with an Indonesian partner in November 2021. Over 30 million doses of the company's adenovirus vector vaccine were exported to Indonesia in 2021.

In March this year, CanSinoBIO's adenovirus type-5 vector-based COVID-19 vaccine (Ad5-nCoV) was approved by BPOM Indonesia as booster shots following inactivated vaccine, while CNBG's inactivated vaccine, which had previously been approved as emergency use in Indonesia, was also approved there in March as a heterologous booster.

Apart from the cooperation in the combat against COVID-19 between the two countries, Chinese and Indonesian experts and scientists of TB and respiratory infectious diseases also discussed and shared their latest research results on the elimination of TB with innovative vaccine technologies during a forum in Bali on Wednesday.

The technology used in CanSinoBio's adenovirus vector vaccine can also be used in the TB vaccine, the company said at the forum.

Imran Pambudi, National TB Program Manager and Deputy Director of Tuberculosis Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health of Indonesia, thinks highly of the contribution made by CanSinoBio in the research and development of inhaled TB vaccine and the achievements made by the cooperation between China and Indonesia in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

Global Times