Japanese vaccine producer Shigeta Animal Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Indonesia's Bogor Institute of Agriculture have announced a joint venture for the production of a bird flu vaccine for animals. The company to be called IPB Shigeta Animal Pharmaceuticals Inc will begin the production of the vaccine in a very short time.
U.S.-based MedImmune Inc has given the green signal to the company to use its patented reverse genetics technology to manufacture the vaccine, according to Yoshiyuki Nishio, the company's president. He added that the vaccine will be used in 44 countries including Indonesia and Japan. The Bogor factory will manufacture up to 1 million doses a month, while they were building another factory capable of manufacturing 100 million doses per month. "IPB Shigeta will be able to supply vaccine to countries throughout Asia and even the rest of the world if the new factory in Indonesia becomes operational," Nishio said. Around 20 people have already succumbed to bird flu in Indonesia and the country has culled thousands of chickens and other poultry animals in a bid to control bird flu. According to the World Health Organization, 96 people have so far fallen a victim to the H5N1 strain of bird flu virus in seven countries including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Iraq, Thailand, Vietnam and Turkey.