Covid vaccine HXP-GPOVac enters 3rd phase

Clinical tests ‘show fewer side effects’

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) started the third round of clinical tests yesterday for its Covid vaccine HXP-GPOVac in Nakhon Phanom province, according to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

This comes in the wake of successful results for the first two phases of the vaccine’s development, said Mr Anutin.

HXP-GPOVac was developed using Newcastle disease virus (NDV) as a prototype to create a more stable vaccine that is cheaper to produce in order to provide easier access, according to GPO director Witoon Danwiboon.

The first two phases of the study, from 2021 to 2022, show the GPO’s vaccine can stimulate Covid antibodies while remaining safe to use, Dr Witoon added.

Kriangkrai Prasert, the project’s research director, said the vaccine showed similar results when compared to some other imported vaccines, but with fewer side effects.

Based on the results, the GPO chose the best formula and began the third phase of development on 4,000 volunteers from Nakhon Phanom Hospital yesterday, focusing primarily on the vaccine’s use and safety as a booster shot.

Nakhon Phanom was chosen due to the province’s impressive jabbing campaign to date, which helped the GPO significantly with the first two phases of trials, the source said.

According to Dr Kriangkrai, the test will take place at the local provincial hall and in Na Kae district, and will be divided into two phases: the first running from Dec 23-29 and the second from Jan 5-11.

Volunteers must be over 18 years of age and have had at least two doses of a similar type of vaccine, he added.

They will be given ten microgrammes of HXP-GPOVac as a booster, administered intramuscularly.

Porntip Wiwatwong, the chief developer of HXP-GPOVac, said it would be tested in comparison with another imported vector vaccine in terms of the antibodies produced.

“The team will check volunteers’ blood for Covid antibodies after the jab,” Dr Kriangkrai explained.

Dr Witoon said the GPO would register the vaccines with the Food and Drug Administration in mid-2023 if the third-phase results are satisfactory.

It will change the testing protocol if the tests fail to hit their targets by January.