PTT, GPO team up on can­cer med man­u­fac­ture


Na­tional oil and gas con­glom­er­ate PTT Plc has part­nered with the Govern­ment Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Or­ga­ni­za­tion (GPO) to de­velop Thai­land’s first can­cer phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal fac­tory at a to­tal cost of 2.5 bil­lion baht.

The two state en­ter­prises signed an agree­ment yes­ter­day in Bangkok for joint devel­op­ment of the fac­tory, with the aim of curb­ing can­cer med­i­cal bills by 50%.

The fac­tory will be lo­cated in PTT We Cozi, PTT’s flag­ship in­dus­trial es­tate in Ray­ong, and con­struc­tion will likely be­gin in 2022 with the first doses doled out in 2027.

PTT pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive Aut­tapol Rerkpi­boon said PTT will pro­vide 2.5 bil­lion baht for up­front con­struc­tion costs, while the GPO will pay rent to PTT while op­er­at­ing the fac­tory.

The fac­tory will have a ca­pac­ity of roughly 30 mil­lion pills per year.

Mr Aut­tapol said the co­op­er­a­tion to de­velop a can­cer medicine fac­tory is a step­ping stone to im­prov­ing public health, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, as well as the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sec­tor and med­i­cal re­search in Thai­land.

“The fac­tory will also be de­signed to serve as a can­cer medicine pro­duc­tion base for South­east Asia,” he said.

GPO man­ag­ing direc­tor Withoon Dan­wi­boon said the fa­cil­ity will pro­vide re­sources and knowl­edge for re­search and ease tech­nol­ogy trans­fers with the world’s lead­ing can­cer drug man­u­fac­tur­ers.

The fac­tory will fo­cus on cov­er­ing all types of can­cer treat­ment, in­clud­ing chemo­ther­apy and tar­geted ther­apy. It will pro­duce ty­ro­sine ki­nase in­hibitors, small mol­e­cules that can di­rectly bind to the tar­get within a cell, and mon­o­clonal an­ti­bod­ies.

The fac­tory will meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for pro­duc­tion qual­ity for safety stan­dards and ad­vanced pro­duc­tion tech­nol­ogy, Dr Withoon said.

“This fac­tory is ex­pected to curb

Thai­land’s de­pen­dency on im­ported can­cer drugs worth more than 21 bil­lion baht, or equiv­a­lent to 10% of Thai­land’s to­tal im­ported medicine,” he said. “It will also lead to more ac­cess to high-qual­ity and ef­fec­tive drugs.”

In an­other devel­op­ment, PTT’s board yes­ter­day ap­proved the pro­mo­tion of Mon­tri Rawan­chaikul, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent for the pro­duc­tion as­set group at PTT Ex­plo­ration and Pro­duc­tion, to chief ex­ec­u­tive of PTTEP, re­plac­ing Phongsthor­n Thav­isin, who will re­tire in Oc­to­ber 2021.

The co­op­er­a­tion to de­velop a can­cer medicine fac­tory is worth 2.5 bil­lion baht.

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