Malaysia producing cholera vaccine, clinical trial by year-end
16 Sep 2021
Malaysia’s cholera vaccine production is set to enter its clinical trial phase by the end of this year, said Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
According to him, the process of developing the vaccine for cholera, which is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water, is led by private and public universities.
He said the three stages of the vaccine’s clinical trial would involve human samples and is expected to drive Malaysia’s competitiveness in the pharmaceutical industry.
“We are fortunate because Malaysia has the framework and consent to develop a vaccine, and production is not only for Covid-19, but also covers other diseases.
“For the cholera vaccine, a private university namely the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) will conduct clinical trials at the end of this year.
“This clinical trial phase will include phases one, two, and three,” he said during a press conference at Technology Park Malaysia’s Area 57, here, today.
Dr Adham said Malaysia is also on its way to producing other vaccines such as for leptospirosis (rat urine disease), polio as well as dengue.
The Tenggara Member of Parliament explained that the process of producing vaccines for public use would take time as there was no shortcut, adding that it required the approval of the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Division (NPRA).
“Approval is only given if the vaccine is produced according to three main principles, namely effectiveness, safety, and quality, but development will be done within the stipulated period,” he said.
On the establishment of the Area 57 centre of excellence at the Technology Park Malaysia comprising five acres of land, Dr Adham said the place is suitable to be a drone development zone, adding that it would also be a testbed for local companies to grow.
The former health minister expressed confidence that drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) technology has a lot of commercial potential that can be explored.
This, he said would drive the highly skilled workforce sector in the country as well as generate employment opportunities for Malaysians.
“Take Aerodyne Group for example. It conducted a demonstration session earlier and this drone company which is from Malaysia has received global response and even ranked as the second-best in the world.
“Aerodyne will act as an advisor to Area 57. I would like to see more companies such as this and we welcome (other) drone companies to drive the growth of Malaysia’s drone technology industry,” he said.