Taiwan firm teams up with US to develop Covid-19 vaccine


TAIPEI (Bernama): Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (MVC) announced Monday (Feb 17) that it has teamed up with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 (novel coronavirus), Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

According to MVC, it signed an agreement with the NIH Sunday (Feb 16) allowing it to obtain the candidate vaccine virus and related material developed by the US health institution for potential use in humans to jump-start candidate vaccine development for Covid-19 in Taiwan.

The company said it will soon start animal testing in Taiwan, the results of which will be used to assess the possibility of applying it to clinical testing on humans and developing a new generation of vaccines.

It is MVC's second cooperation with the NIH since 2015, when the two sides first collaborated to develop vaccines against dengue fever.

If all goes smoothly, MVC said it will introduce the NIH's candidate vaccine viruses and material for follow-up human testing to manufacture effective vaccines to deal with the epidemic, which has no cure so far.

On Feb 12, MVC applied for permission from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration for an RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test kit that it developed to target Covid-19, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December. - Bernama
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