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Siam Bioscience to produce Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for ASEAN

Thai company receives tech transfer from AstraZeneca for launch by mid-2021

Siam Bioscience will set up production facilities for a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thai biopharmaceutical company Siam Bioscience has signed an agreement to partner with U.K.-based drug major AstraZeneca to produce and supply potential COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222, developed by the University of Oxford, for Thailand and Southeast Asian countries.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, said on Monday that all parties agreed to prepare large-scale manufacturing capacity at Siam Bioscience. AstraZeneca will be providing the potential vaccine at no profit during the pandemic, while Siam Bioscience is to set up the manufacturing facilities through technology transfer from the European giant.

Under the partnership, the Thai government and Siam Bioscience will tie-up with AstraZeneca, the University of Oxford and international agencies such as the World Health Organization to enable global distribution of the potential vaccine, should clinical trials prove successful and regulators approve its use.

Siam Bioscience did not provide details on production volumes or the amount of investment.

"With transferred technology, [our] company is aiming to have the first batch of vaccines available in the middle of next year," said Satitpong Sukvimol, chairman of Siam Bioscience.

Established in 2009, Siam Bioscience spent 7 years on research and development before successfully launching in 2016 its first product Erythropoietin, which is used to treat low red blood cell counts in people with long-term chronic kidney failure.  

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