Bali, Indonesia, Oct 30, 2012 – (MINA) – The Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) has lauded the initiatives and cooperation of Indonesian vaccine-maker Bio Farma, now the largest producer of oral polio vaccine in the world.

“Bio Farma produces 1.4 billion doses of oral Polio vaccine, the biggest in the world,” DCVMN President Akira Homma told a press conference, in Kuta, Bali, on Tuesday, held as part of opening program of 13th annual general meeting to last 31 Oct – 2 Nov, 2012.

Homma cited Bio Farma as an example of a succesful vaccine maker in the developing world not only for being able to produce various types vaccines prequalified by the WHO, but for its initiatives and cooperation on vaccine research with many developing countries as well.

Homma of Brazil’s Bio-Manguinhos-Fiocruz vaccine manufaturer pointed out the leading role Bio Farma had taken up in 1999 when WHO sponsored steps for the developing countries to jointly develop their capabilities in vaccine research and making.

DCVMN was established in Bandung that year, he revealed, as WHO was concerned about the imbalanced playing field of vaccine production at the time when the developed world held dominance of vaccine production. “Poor countries didn’t have access to vaccine,” Homma said.

Homma added today the largest amounts of vaccines bought by WHO are produced in the developing countries as they are of the high quality as those produced in the industrialized world, with lower prices.

Bio Farma president director Iskandar who also spoke in the press conference said Indonesia is now in the position to offer cooperation with other developing countries. “Now we have produced 11 types of vaccines, all WHO pre-qualified,” he said.

Indonesia has already achieved a “sound, technological platform” in vaccine production and therefore looks forward to establishing cooperation in vaccine research and developements with other countries, he emphasized.

Rahman Roestan, corporate secretary of Bio Farma, has ealier said the Bali international vaccine-making meeting will be attented by more than 100 vaccine experts and high ranking health officials from DCVMN member states and other countries as well as UN bodies.

Roestan added said the meeting will also feature presentations and discussions from vaccine experts and government officials from the United States, Europe, Latin America and U.N. bodies.

The list of speakers includes Dr. Kim Bush of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose speech is entitled ‘Programmes to Improve Global Health: Why and How’, and Dr. Shanelle Hall of the UNICEF Supply Division, who is scheduled to speak on UNICEF’s strategy for forecasting vaccine demands and working with countries and manufacturers.

Indonesian top vaccine researcher, Dr. Mahendra Suhardono, will preside over a panel discussion featuring speakers Dr. Tjandra Yoga of the Indonesian Health Ministry’s director general of communicable disease control, who will outline an initiative on global cooperation for responding to pandemic influenza.

Dr. Daniel Rodriguez of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will speak on the organization’s cooperation mechanism for the joint procurement of vaccines, syringes, and related supplies used by participating member states.

Also, panelists representing leading Asian vaccine makers Butantan, Cadila, Biovac, Vabiotech, and Bharat will discuss ways to expand availability of influenza vaccinations in developing countries with Jan Hendriks of the Netherlands Vaccine Institute moderating the discussion. 

In total, there are currently 37 vaccine-making manufacturers and members of the 14 DCVMN member countries. Indonesian vaccine-making company Bio Farma is the host of this year’s general meeting.

The objective of 13th DCVMN general meeting involves striving to increase the availability, and to improve the quality, of vaccines produced in developing countries.

Member states of the DCVMN are Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Republic of China, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.

Member companies and organizations in DCVMN are Beijing Minhai Biotechnology, Bharat Biotech International Limited, Biological E. Limited, Bio-Manguinhos – Institute of Technology on Immunobiologicals, BioNet-Asia Co., Ltd., Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited, the Center for Genetic engineering and Biotechnology Chengda Liaoning, and China National Biotec Group (CNBG).

Other members include EuBiologics, Finlay Institute, Haffkine, Hualan Bio, Incepta Ltd., Indian Immunologicals Limited, Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, Instituto Butantan, National Administration of Laboratories and Institute of Health ANLIS Dr. Carlos G. Malbran, Panacea Biotec Ltd, Pasteur Institute of Iran and Bio Farma.

Also represented are Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, Razi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute, Serum Institute of India Ltd, Sinergium, Sinovac Biotech Ltd., SK Chemicals, Biovac Institute, Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 Vabiotech, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the Holding Company for Biological Products & Vaccines (VACSERA), Tiantan, Walvax and Xiamen Innovax Biotech. (MINA)

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