Airlangga University and Switzerland Develop Bird Flu Vaccine

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Airlangga University (Unair) Surabaya and two Swiss universities, namely the University of Lausanne and University of Geneva, have been collaborating in the research and development of new vaccine for bird flu.

Chairman of the Avian Influenza Research Center (AIRC) of Airlangga University Prof C.A. Nidom said on Tuesday (3/28) in Surabaya that the three universities have joined forces to create new formulas in order to design the best vaccine for bird flu, not only in the ingredients but also its formulation.

“Under this collaboration, later we will build a new laboratory specifically to make the formulation. In addition, we also do the evaluation and translation of basic researches,” he said.

Nidom added the collaboration will last for three years and be fully financed by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss National Science Foundation (SCNF) with a total funding of between Rp8 billion and Rp9 billion. “In the upcoming three years we will design some formulations then we test them together,” he said.

The first project in this cooperation, said Nidom, is creating the best bird flu vaccine for Indonesia and the world to anticipate any outbreak. “There is no outbreak yet now, but we remain concerned about the disease,” he said.

The cooperation, according to him, was initiated in 2014 but only in a small scale. Once they found out the facility at the AIRC was complete enough and Airlangga has the capability to undergo vaccine researches, they increase the cooperation by involving three universities.

The representative of the University of Lausanne, Dr Chrisptophe-Quer Barnier, said the university has been appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop vaccines since 2010.

He added the collaboration is working on the global issues like bird flu. If it is successful, it will move to another global issue such as ebola. In addition to collaborating on researches, Airlangga and Switzerland will hold a symposium entitled “Swiss-Indonesia Vaccine Formulation Symposium” in Surabaya on 29-30 March 2017.