Thai-made Baiya vaccine enters 1st human trial this month


Baiya Phytopharm will launch the first human trials of its Covid-19 vaccine this month.

The sub-unit Baiya vaccine will be tested on volunteers once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives the green light, said the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Waranyu Pooncharoen.

If results from human trials meet expectations, production of the vaccine can begin in mid-2022, she added.

The Baiya vaccine uses a genetically engineered tobacco extract to trigger an immune response against Covid-19.

The company plans to manufacture the vaccine at Asia's first plant-based vaccine factory, located in Chulalongkorn University.

Waranyu also revealed that Baiya Phytopharm may adjust the formula for its second-generation booster vaccine to fight emerging variants such as Delta, which is the dominant strain in Thailand. However, the company will check results of the Phase 1 human trial before deciding whether to reformulate the booster.

Baiya is one of four Covid-19 vaccines being developed in Thailand. The others are Chulalongkorn University’s ChulaCov19 (Phase 2 human trials), the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation’s HXP-GPO Vac, and Biotech’s nasal-spray vaccine.