MOH News
Assiri: “MOH to Sign a MOU with BARDA to Develop and Produce MERS-CoV Vaccine”
17 November 2015
The Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Preventive Health, Dr. Abdullah Assiri, revealed that the Ministry of Health (MOH) plans to sign during the next few days a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a non-profit organization affiliated to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to provide scientific and practical consultancies about the advanced stages of development and production of the vaccine and immunotherapy for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). He indicated that the participants in the workshop, which was held earlier this week at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), have agreed on the urgent need for a consortium between the developers, financers and the MOH, in order to test more than one nominated product. He added that although some of these products are promising as far as the curative and preventive aspects are concerned, none of them have been tested on human beings and therefore we cannot confirm the extent of their effectiveness and safety.
 
Assiri pointed out that the time required for the production of immunotherapy and human vaccine ranged from 9 to 18 months, based on the type of product and manufacturing capabilities of different companies. “It is not possible at this stage to differentiate between a product than another, due to the different techniques and similarity of results of the tests conducted on laboratory animals,” he said. 
 
Moreover, Assiri went on to say that the participants agreed that the most proper way to identify the best product is that the products, which have been proven successful in laboratory experiments, to be subjected to the second phase of tests, as part of a conventional research protocol under supervision of an independent body, financially and administratively, apart from the beneficiaries of these products, given that the financial burden should be shared between all parties within a framework of a agreement that specifies the duties and responsibilities of each party.
 
It is worth mentioning that the MOH and KACST, in collaboration with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), have organized last Saturday and Sunday a workshop, with the participation of some academic research organizations and a number of companies concerned with advanced vaccine researches, as well as a number of scientists who have documented researches in the field of MERS-CoV vaccine production.
 
The workshop aimed at reviewing the various technologies and products selected for experiments, and the available information about their safety, effectiveness and ways to finance the remaining stages of development. 
 
 
 



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