BANGKOK – The Higher Education Minister has indicated that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Thai researchers could be released as early as April, while the country is now ranked the 36th country on the Bloomberg Innovation Index.
The Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, Anek Laothamatas has revealed the progress of COVID-19 vaccine candidates now under development by Thai researchers, saying that the projects are on track with good results to date.
Currently, a candidate vaccine developed by the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, is currently in the final Phase 3 clinical trial. This vaccine could be available to the general public as early as late-April or early-May this year.
Another promising vaccine development project is a project by Baiya Phytopharm, using a unique technique by introducing the virus’ genome into plants, essentially using plants to produce proteins for vaccine manufacture. The vaccine prototype from Baiya Phytopharm is on track for a clinical trial in humans in June, and is expected to be available to the general public towards the end of the year.
There are currently five more candidate vaccines developed in Thailand where further tests are required to gauge their efficacy. The MHESI expects these locally developed vaccines will help the country depend less on imported vaccines.
The Higher Education Minister also announced that Thailand has been ranked the 36th most innovative country, in the Bloomberg Innovation Index; of 60 countries ranked, Thailand’s position was an improvement on its 40th place last year.***
He said this improved ranking guarantees Thailand’s ability to reduce inequalities, develop innovations for better health and medicine, promote the country’s solutions to environmental issues and pollution, as well as innovations to cope with uncertainties and crises following the COVID-19 pandemic. (NNT)