Thailand claims success in experimental anti-bird flu drug

The Thai government on Thursday raised hope to increase the country's drug stockpile to fight bird flu after scientists announced success in an experimental production of a Thai version of an anti-viral drug, the Thai News Agency reported.

A team of researchers at Chulalongkorn University in collaboration with the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) claimed to successfully produce oseltamivir phosphate, a generic version of anti-bird flu medicine in laboratory tests.

At a press conference to publicize the success, Science and Technology Minister Pravich Rattanapien said the successful experimental production of the drug in the laboratory would prepare Thailand for mass production of the anti-viral drug to fight bird flu, similar to Tamiflu by Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant.

Pravich said the ministry would cooperate with the Pharmaceutical Organization in developing the drug at the industrial production level.

"Many countries have built their own stockpiles of Tamiflu to fight bird flu pandemic and our success has shown that Thailand is preparing itself and will be self-sufficient," he said.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---