By Shahfizal Musa
Pix by Saliman Leman
Kuala Lumpur, 11 Feb. 2011- The Faculty of Pharmacy UKM is to commercialise a palm oil based vaccine for poultry and live stocks developed by its researchers.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with One Bio Tech Sdn. Bhd. here this morning to further develop the vaccine to fit and meet market demands. The vaccine has already been patented as NEMS (Nano Emulsifier Minyak Sawit). Research is on going for further improvements.
The MOU was signed by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation Affairs) UKM, Prof. Dr Rahmah Mohamed and the CEO of One Biotech Sdn. Bhd, Dr Mazlan Mohamad at the Faculty in Jalan Raja Muda Aziz here.
Currently vaccines for animals have to be imported. Since they are made from a combination of animal fats and mineral oils, their use could raise issues among Muslims and the vegetarians. They are also costly.
NEMS would be much cheaper and can give the same or even greater protection to livestocks. One Biotech is providing the antigen.
The antigen is necessary to ensure the vaccine can work properly as protective agent against diseases. The antiagen will activate antibodies production in animals, but to activate the antibodies the antiagen needs something that can transport it to the immune system. NEMS acts as the transporter for the antigen sending it to the immune system to trigger the production of antibodies.
Prof. Dr Rahmah Mohamed said “the first prototype of NEMS has met international pharmaceutical standards criteria such as United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) and British Pharmacopoeia(BP)”. The patent was filed in 2004 while NEMS as an adjuvant (transporter of antigen) for pharmaceutical and veterinay use was been filed in 2009.
Prof Rahmah said the research finding will not only be felt by livestocks farmers but will also improve the country’s economy.
“The palm oil industry has been identified as one of the 12 National Key Economic Activities (NKEAs) that has the potential to drive and directly comtribute to economic growth through innovations,” she said.
Dr Mazlan said vaccination will not only reduce dependence on antibiotics but also help reduce costs through shorter rearing period to reach marketable weight especially for poultry.
“To produce good vaccines that gives good protection we need good adjuvant (transporter of antiagents). We believe NEMS developed by researchers at Faculty of Pharmacy is a good transporter for antigen ”
Present at the signing ceremony were the Coordinator of Faculty of Pharmacy Center of Excellence who led the NEMS project, Associate Professor Dr Ahmad Fuad Shamsudin; Mair Nasser, Vice President of MTDC; Prof Dr Ibrahim Jantan, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy; senior members of the faculty and representatives from One Biotech.