KUALA LUMPUR: Ho Wah Genting Bhd’s (HWGB) wholly-owned subsidiary, HWGB Biotech Sdn Bhd (HWGB Biotech) had submitted the necessary documents to the National Medical Research Register (NMRR) to evaluate oral polio vaccine’s (OPV) effectiveness and as a preventive protection against the Covid-19.
The OPV research is conducted under the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) National Institute of Health guidelines.
HWGB Biotech will fully fund the clinical trial and other related matters, is also looking to detect poliovirus vaccination-induced antibodies that can cross-react with Covid-19 proteins through the research results.
HWGB chief executive officer Datuk Aaron Lim said given the dire situation, the company is hoping to work with the government to quicken the process in evaluating the effectiveness of the polio vaccines on Covid-19 prevention.
“If the research through clinical trials can be proven to be effective, we can help Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia.
“A successful vaccine is important not just in saving lives but also help the economies in the region that has been negatively impacted by the pandemic due to lockdowns and other preventative measures. It is imperative that this is done urgently,” he said in a statement today.
Upon MOH’s review and approval, HWGB Biotech will initiate the research at an appointed private clinic.
Participants will be screened and selected based on specific inclusion criteria using convenience sampling.
Vaccination will be served to participants, followed by sample collection, serological testing and results reporting.
The main investigator for research and testing will be Datuk Dr Lai Kwong Choy, who has more than 30 years of medical training background serving in government hospitals as well as private practice.
Dr Lai started his group practices and partnership at private clinics since 2000.
He was also a local counsellor at Kajang Municipal Council from 2004 to 2008.
From 2009 to 2012, he served as a board member at Malaysia Health Promotion Board which is under MOH.
The co-investigator for the research is Dr Yaman Walid Kassad who obtained his Bachelor of Pharmacy from Ajman University of Science and Technology (AUST) from United Arab Emirate, Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Clinical Pharmacy from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Pharmacy from University Science Malaysia (USM), Malaysia.
He has extensive research experience and has published more than 40 research papers.
Additionally, associate professor Dr Long Chiau Ming will assist as research consultant.
He possesses 15 years of experience in the academia, specifically in the medical field.
He is an Associate Professor at Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences, University Brunei Darussalam and executive committee member of Malaysian Society of Pharmaceutical Technology.