Ministry of Public Health, Siam Bioscience, SCG and AstraZeneca join forces on COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing for Thailand and South East Asia

The Ministry of Public Health, Siam Bioscience, SCG and British-Swedish biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca today signed a Letter of Intent on the manufacturing and supply of the University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine AZD1222.

Under this LOI, all parties agree to work together to prepare large scale manufacturing capacity at Siam Bioscience to create broad, equitable and timely access to the potential vaccine in South East Asia. AstraZeneca is providing the potential vaccine at no profit during the pandemic and will work with Siam Bioscience to set up the manufacturing facilities through technology transfer.

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has championed the collaboration between the companies from the start. MOPH has endorsed the manufacturing in Thailand. The Ministry will be receiving AZD1222 doses for distribution in the healthcare system and will facilitate regulatory review up to the highest safety standards, with the aim of commencing the vaccination of the Thai population in the first half of 2021.

The LOI was signed by H.E. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Air Chief Marshal Satitpong Sukvimol, Chairman of Siam Bioscience Company Limited, Mr. Roongrote Rangsiyopash, SCG President and CEO in Bangkok and Mr. James Teague, Country President Thailand, AstraZeneca in virtual attendance from London, U.K.  The LOI signing was witnessed by H.E. Pisanu Suvanajata, Ambassador of Thailand to UK, H.E. Brian Davidson – the British Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Nicolas Weeks, Chargé d’affaires a.i. Embassy of Sweden to Thailand and Ms. Jo Feng, Senior Vice President, Asia Area at AstraZeneca.

H.E. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, said: “I am very pleased that AstraZeneca has identified Siam Bioscience as a world-class contract manufacturing partner. By signing this Letter of Intent, we make important progress toward making the potential vaccine in Thailand, so that we can provide hope to our people and our economy. We also support the export of the potential vaccine to other countries so that our region can recover quickly.”

Air Chief Marshal Satitpong Sukvimol, Chairman of Siam Bioscience Company Limited, explained that “the company has high tech facilities and capabilities to manufacture biopharmaceuticals including cancer and autoimmune drugs.  The facilities are also capable of producing the potential AZD1222 COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca. With the expected technology transfer from AstraZeneca and following Thai FDA regulatory approval, the company is aiming to have the first batch of vaccines available in the middle of next year.

Siam Bioscience’s facility and team will enable Thailand to become the first country in South East Asia to produce the vaccine. The company promises to make every effort to enable Thai and South East Asia people to use the vaccine as soon as possible.”

Mr Roongrote Rangsiyopash, SCG President and CEO, said “SCG is delighted to help facilitate this critical technology transfer. SCG and Oxford University have been research and development partners for a long time.  This partnership has enabled acceleration of Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing in Thailand and distribution of the vaccine to both Thailand and our neighbouring countries.  SCG would like to thank the vaccine team at AstraZeneca for being a collaborative partner throughout the process.  In this regard, SCG Foundation has contributed 100 million Baht to domestic vaccine research development as well.

Ms. Jo Feng, Senior Vice President, Asia Area at AstraZeneca said “Broad, equitable and timely access is critical to the success of any COVID-19 vaccine. Today is an important step toward that goal. The leadership and support of the Government of Thailand and SCG as well as the world-class manufacturing expertise of Siam Bioscience strengthen our confidence about making AZD1222 available in Thailand and other countries in South East Asia. Public-private partnerships like this are the only way to halt this pandemic and we look forward to deepening our collaboration in the interest of public health.”

Through this partnership, the Government of Thailand, Siam Bioscience and SCG join AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, governments, leading health organisations such as WHO, CEPI and GAVI and manufacturers to enable global distribution of the potential vaccine as soon as possible, should the clinical trials prove to be successful and regulators approve its use.

The LOI signatories have expressed their resolve to ensure safe and responsible use of the potential vaccine. AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford are committed to the highest ethical standards and sound scientific principles, and are working with expert regulatory agencies such as the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Thai Food and Drug Administration to ensure patient safety.

About Siam Bioscience

Siam Bioscience is a leading biopharmaceutical company in ASEAN that focuses on research, development and manufacturing of medicines, diagnostic kits, cosmeceuticals, and related products. The company is capable of development and end-to-end manufacturing from active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological active substances to finished products.  We have the resolute commitments to improve patients access to high quality and affordable medicines, to facilitate healthcare security, and to care for the health of Thai people and beyond.

About SCG

SCG is a leading conglomerate in the ASEAN region that conducts business in line with sustainable development principles and good corporate governance. SCG is comprised of three core businesses, namely, Cement-Building Materials Business, Chemicals Business, and Packaging Business. SCG actively develops and creates innovative products and services via open innovation with partners, sponsored research at leading academic institutions such as Oxford University, and Corporate Venture Capital. SCG has led the rapid response to COVID-19 in Thailand via the rapid introduction of new medical products from personal protection to mobile hospital units.

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