Updates on ‘Merah Putih’ COVID-19 Vaccine

TEMPO.COJAKARTA : The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) is eyeing to clinically test the Merah Putih COVID-19 vaccine by the second semester of 2021. This means LIPI will have to complete the vaccine’s in-vitro and in-vivo tests before the deadline. 

LIPI head Laksana Tri Handoko explained the agency was developing a vaccine based on recombinant protein, which is currently undergoing lab tests and mammalian cell transfection. 

Researchers work in a research room of the Merah Putih vaccine at the Bio Farma Office in Bandung, Thursday, August 12, 2020. ANTARA/Dhemas Reviyanto
Researchers work in a research room of the Merah Putih vaccine at the Bio Farma Office in Bandung, Thursday, August 12, 2020. ANTARA/Dhemas Reviyanto

Handoko is upbeat the deadline would be met due to the use of verified and thorough research development infrastructure, which include biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories. He also believes the use of experienced human resources involved in the vaccination development program will help produce an effective COVID-19 vaccine. 

Bambang Brodjonegoro, the head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), said Thursday the COVID-19 vaccine development was on schedule and expected to progress to animal testing soon. 

“The soonest we expect the vaccine seeds to be handed to Bio Farma will be around February or March of 2021,” said Bambang Brodjonegoro, who is also the Minister of Research and Technology.

ANTARA / TEMPO

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