Bio Farma was one of the resource persons on 14TH International Rotavirus Symposium which was held in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) and the Sabin Vaccine Institute on 14-16 March 2023 in Bali.
This activity was attended by more than 300 participants, consisting of domestic and foreign researchers and stakeholders who are interested in providing the latest information on the latest research results related to Rotavirus, results of new vaccine trials, the latest approaches to Rotavirus vaccines, research funding and introduction of new vaccines, as well as other relevant issues regarding the development of the Rotavirus vaccine.
Present as the guest speaker, Bio Farma’s Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) Research and Testing, Adriansjah Azhari with the theme “Development of the neonatal rotavirus vaccine at PT Biofarma”.
The theme includes a discussion of PT Bio Farma’s important contribution as a Pharmaceutical SOE mandated by the Government in developing the Rotavirus vaccine in the framework of Indonesia’s fight against Rotavirus, as well as progress and global challenges it is facing.
Adriansjah said that the development of the rotavirus vaccine at Bio Farma was the result of the collaboration of the nation’s children, and had several advantages compared to other rotavirus vaccines.
“Bio Farma’s Rotavirus vaccine can be given to babies starting from 0 months, 1 month, 2 months old, whereas currently, all other Rotavirus vaccines in the world can only be given to babies aged 2, 3, 4 months. This will provide much better protection for the baby from exposure to the Rota virus,” said Adriansjah.
“Another advantage that makes the Rotavirus vaccine made by Bio Farma the foremost is that it is the only Rotavirus vaccine that uses ingredients that do not contain pork (porcine free) so that in the future when this vaccine launching, is expected to be the world’s first halal Rotavirus vaccine. Another advantage is that the development of this vaccine from upstream to downstream is carried out domestically, so the TKDN value is high compared to other imported vaccines so that it can continue to support domestic resilience and independence,” said Adriansjah.
Bio Farma is collaborating on technology transfer with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in its development.
Currently the development of the rotavirus vaccine is in the phase 3 clinical trial stage in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada and the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sebelas Maret.
This clinical trial aims to assess vaccine efficacy in 1,400 newborns with an observation period of up to 18 months of age.
It is hoped that the rotavirus vaccine developed by Bio Farma can become part of the national vaccination program so that it can protect young people from death and the severity of gastroenteritis due to rotavirus infection from an early age.
Rotavirus remains one of the most common causes of severe and fatal diarrhea in children under 5 years of age worldwide.
Since convening the meeting in Minsk, 28 additional countries have introduced rotavirus vaccines, bringing the global total to 123 countries worldwide. However, less than half of the countries in the Southeast Asia Region routinely use the rotavirus vaccine.
Globally, despite WHO recommendations that rotavirus vaccine should be included in every country’s national immunization program, 58.6 million children worldwide do not have access to this life-saving vaccine.
At the 14th International Rotavirus Symposium meeting, researchers from various countries presented their latest research results regarding Rotavirus vaccine development, trial studies, surveillance and epidemiological data in the world, barriers and supporting factors for vaccine introduction to society, problems in vaccine policy and implementation, progress in immunology and virology, and the impact and safety of vaccines.
Through this symposium, it is hoped that experts from around the world will discuss and debate the next steps in an effort to prevent child deaths due to Rotavirus. (rail)