Source: Taipei Times by Chiu Chih-jou and Liu Tzu-hsuan
The locally developed Medigen COVID-19 vaccine has successfully completed a phase 3 clinical trial in Paraguay and received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the South American nation.
The Taiwanese vaccine manufactured by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗) was hailed by Taiwanese experts as an important milestone for domestically produced vaccines.
Medigen’s vaccine has been gaining recognition from international institutions. It has been included in the WHO’s Solidarity Trial Vaccines program and received a US$2.3 million grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to conduct a mix-and-match trial.
A double-blind, randomized study was used in the clinical trial in Paraguay to compare Medigen’s vaccine with that made by AstraZeneca, Taiwan Immunization Vision and Strategy (台灣疫苗推動協會) chairman Huang Yu-cheng (黃玉成) said.
The results of the trial were similar to data collected from the phase 2 trial conducted in Taiwan.
Infectious-disease expert Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) said that he was not surprised by the results and believes that Medigen’s vaccine would be approved by more nations.
Lee said that he hoped Taiwanese vaccines would no longer be politicized, but be generally accepted by Taiwanese.
Medigen is now waiting for the results of the WHO’s Solidarity Trial Vaccines clinical study, which evaluates the effectiveness of vaccines from around the world.
If the trial proceeds as scheduled, the results are expected by the end of next month or in early April, Medigen chief executive officer Charles Chen (陳燦堅) said.
The company already has capacity to manufacture more than 100 million doses in preparation for a shift from domestic to international markets, he said.
The pandemic has offered an opportunity for domestic manufacturers to develop vaccines and for Academia Sinica to improve its mRNA-related technologies, Huang said.
The experience gained and the growth in research and development would hopefully lead to quicker responses to future pandemics, he said.