6 June 2024

Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) plans to begin Phase 3 clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in December, after it obtains the findings of the Phase 2 tests, expected at the end of this month or early next.

Dr. Nakorn Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute, said that, if the Phase 2 tests are satisfactory, the Phase 3 human trials will be conducted on volunteers who have been inoculated with other makes of COVID vaccines, such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer, to determine the effectiveness of the GPO vaccine.

If the locally-created vaccine is as effective, he said it will be registered with the Thai Food and Drug Administration foruse as a booster.

The GPO’s vaccine development project is supported by PATH, a global non-profit health organisation, which has provided the GPO with a prototype, jointly developed by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University of Texas in Austin in the United States.

The prototype vaccine has been used in the research, development and production of the HXP-GPOVac vaccine candidate, which is an inactivated chimeric vaccine.

The Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, which is also researching an mRNA COVID vaccine, has relaunched its vaccine trials after switching to a new vaccine producer, said Dr. Nakorn, adding that everything will start over from Phase 1.

Baiya Phytopharm Company, a start-up of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Chulalongkorn University, has also engaged in the Second Phase development of its plant-based COVID vaccine.

All the three locally-developed vaccines will be used as boosters, if their tests are successful, because most Thai people are already vaccinated, said Dr. Nakorn.