On the afternoon of June 9, Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-Ke accompanied the delegates from the Executive Yuan led by Premier Su Tseng-chang on a visit to the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp in Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park to understand the progress in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine. County Seizing the opportunity, Magistrate Yang hopes to expand the domain of the Biomedical Science Park under the Taiwan Knowledge-based Flagship Park Special District Project (also known as the Taiwan Knowledge Park or Puyu Project). Premier Su expressed his expectations for the Taiwan Knowledge Park and believes that it would be effective in attracting talents. He also emphasized that regardless of party affiliation, central or local governments, the government and the public should unite and work together to form a national Taiwan team. This would facilitate vaccine development, technology development and biomedical development and make Taiwan a blessing in troubled times.
Premier Su expressed his gratitude and affirmation for Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. He said that the world is depending on vaccine research and development, and that he hopes Taiwan can be recognized by the world for its vaccine research and development like its epidemic prevention. Given that vaccine research and development is a costly work, Premier Su emphasized that the government will cooperate with the industry with utmost sincerity and will not be lacking in providing the budget on the premise that relevant operating procedures must be rigorous and not negligent.
In his presentation, Chen Chan-Chien, the President of Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, reported that in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, the first phase of experiment on more than 300 mice is now completed and the results are as expected. In the next phase, human clinical trial and vaccine production will be carried out in parallel. Once the human study is successful, the vaccine will be available to frontline medical personnel and airport personnel in the fourth quarter of this year.
County Magistrate Yang said that in the "post-epidemic era," the nation will be facing two key tasks. One is the revitalization of the economy and industry, and the other is the research and development of vaccines for COVID-19. At the beginning of the epidemic, the domestic industry, academia and research communities immediately began vaccine research and development. On February 16 of this year, Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp signed a contract with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to become the second biotechnology company in the world to obtain biological materials developed by NIH for developing COVID-19 vaccine. On February 20 of this year, President Tsai Ing-Wen visited Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp for the second time and wished it success in developing the vaccine.
County Magistrate Yang stated that Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp began operations in the Hsinchu Biomedical Park in 2016. It is the only cell culture vaccine plant in Taiwan with production capacity. Currently, there are about 90 types of COVID-19 vaccines being developed around the world. With help from major European and American vaccine manufacturers, Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp has announced that it will have vaccines available by the end of the year, which would be quite a feat! He hopes that under the leadership and expectation of the government and the people, Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp will lead the world in developing the first COVID-19 vaccine.