Siam Bioscience strives to be the leading COVID-19 vaccine producer for Southeast Asia
published : 25 Jan 2021 at 16:15
Siam Bioscience Co., Ltd., the first and only biopharmaceuticals manufacturer in Thailand, was founded in 2009 to preserve and continue what His Majesty the Late King Rama IX started on behalf of the Thai people’s health and wellbeing.
The company’s main products are biopharmaceuticals. Its first product was erythropoietin (EPO) which is used to treat chronic renal failure patients who can no longer produce sufficient red blood cells, resulting in anaemia. Its second product was filgrastim (GCSF) for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, who have high risk of infection due to low white blood cell counts. Manufactured using state-of-the-art biotechnology, both of these medicines are effective treatments with low side effects.
The local manufacturing of these products results in reducing dependence on imported active ingredients and medicines, strengthening public health, and facilitating sustainable healthcare. With world-class quality standards in place, alongside consistent operational excellence, Siam Bioscience’s plants have achieved multiple international accreditations, including PIC/S GMP, ISO9001, ISO17025 and ISO13485. Siam Bioscience is also a trusted and valued manufacturer of medicines and medical diagnostic kits for various organisations, at home and abroad.
Siam Bioscience, in collaboration with the Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health, has supplied more than 100,000 RT-PCR COVID-19 kits (WHO's gold standard for COVID testing) to various government entities to use for their own domestic tests.
In October 2020, Siam Bioscience, SCG, AstraZeneca and the Ministry of Public Health signed a Letter of Intent to seal their joint commitment to making the vaccine available in South East Asia. This was followed by a production agreement between AstraZeneca and Siam Bioscience that signifies that Siam Bioscience meets AstraZeneca’s high technical, operational and ethical standards.
Mrs. Nualphan Lamsam, Honorary Director of Corporate Communications of Siam Bioscience Co., Ltd., said: “Siam Bioscience is immensely proud to have been chosen by AstraZeneca as its technology transfer and manufacturing partner for the COVID-19 vaccine as it meets the international standards required. For the well-being of people and the economy, both in Thailand and the region, having decided to drastically alter its manufacturing plan in order to pour all available resources and efforts into manufacturing the vaccine as specified by AstraZeneca as expeditiously as possible, Siam Bioscience staff are working tirelessly, competing against time. Thus Siam Bioscience is determined to help ensure a better tomorrow for Thai people and all of mankind.”
“AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is a modified adenoviral vector grown in mammalian cells. Siam Bioscience has solid experience with manufacturing and exporting products that use such mammalian cell technology. Our facilities comply with multiple international standards. They provide an integrated solution for every step of the process. Moreover, as the largest biopharmaceutical manufacturer in Thailand, we have the potential to expand our capacity as needed.”
“To support the global fight against the pandemic and in line with AstraZeneca’s own commitment, Siam Bioscience is manufacturing the vaccine under a ‘no profit, no loss’ framework for the duration of the pandemic.”
The mission to manufacture this COVID-19 vaccine is supported by the National Vaccine Institute, Ministry of Public Health, with a budget of almost 600 million baht, with an additional 100 million baht budgeted by Siam Cement Group (SCG). This will enable preparation of the manufacturing facilities and processes. In return for the government support, Siam Bioscience will procure the AstraZeneca vaccine with a value equivalent to the funding it receives and will give the vaccine to the Thai government to support vaccine availability to the public.
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