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Results of research on Nanocovax vaccine published in open-data science portal



Nanogen, a Vietnamese biotechnology and pharmacy firm, has published two scientific articles on the results of research on the Nanocovax vaccine.

Results of research on Nanocovax vaccine published in open-data science portal

Nanocovax developed by Nanogen is in the third phase of a clinical trial. It has been given to 13,000 volunteers, and the final shots are being implemented before the preliminary report is released in late August or early September.

According to Nanogen, the publishing of experimental data in scientific journals will help increase the reliability of the research, and open the research up for opinions and comments from scientists around the world.

To ensure transparency in research, Nanogen’s scientists published two articles on two open-data science portals – BioRxiv (July 20) on preclinical results, and clinical results phases 1-2 on MedRxiv (July 22).

In an article published in MedRxiv, Nanogen’s scientists mentioned the safety and immunogenicity of the Nanocovax vaccine.

Nanogen uses a recombinant protein method to produce the Nanocovax vaccine.

All volunteers had to undergo screening, have clinical and biological examinations and have tests (complete blood count, biochemistry, urinalysis, pregnancy testing, and imaging studies). Those who had had Covid-19 or tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were not eligible for the trial.

In the first phase, from December 17, 2020, 60 volunteers aged 18-50 got two shots to assess the safety of the vaccine (the time between the two shots was 28 days).

In the first phase, no serious side effects were discovered. Most of the side effects were level 1 and ended after the injection.

In the second phase, 480 volunteers received vaccines at three dose levels, while the other 80 were injected with a placebo.

The healthy volunteers with BMI from 17-35 were classified into three groups 18-45 years old, 46-60 and over 60. The oldest volunteer was 76.

The side effects were mild and they finished within three days . There was no serious side effect related to the vaccines.

After the first and second phases, the research team could prove that Nanocovax has high safety. Most side effects and level-1 serious effects ended after 48 hours.

The research team concluded that Nanocovax vaccine is well tolerated and produces a strong immune responses. The team wants to select a 25 mcg dose for the phase 3 trial to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine.

However, the research team admitted some problems in the research phase 1 and 2, which included the lack of ethnic diversity. The trials were implemented only in Vietnam, and the supervision period was short. And finally, the trial was implemented only on healthy volunteers. 

Nguyen Hung



Vietnam’s tech shops stay up all night selling iPhone 13



On October 22, sales of officially distributed iPhone 13 models began in Vietnam. Many shops opened overnight to serve customers.

Thức xuyên đêm bán Iphone 13, hàng chính hãng giảm giá 20%

Vietnamese customers who pre-ordered iPhone 13 received their phones from 0:00 on October 22. This year, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the sales and delivery of iPhone 13 is only available in some cities. Phone stores restricted the number of customers on the opening night.

On October 22, Viettel Store chain opened the whole night in Hanoi and the northern port city of Hai Phong. In addition, more than 300 Viettel Store supermarkets across the country officially delivered iPhone 13 products from 7:30 am on October 22.

Mobile World launched its TopZone chain, which only distributes Apple products, on October 22 and at the same time began delivering iPhone 13 to its customers. According to Doan Van Hieu Em – CEO of Mobile World Group, after more than two months of preparation, four TopZone stores were inaugurated in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The retailer plans to open two large TopZone stores in November and December. It aims to have up to 50 ARR stores in and 10 APR stores nationwide in the first quarter of 2022.

According to FPT Shop, this chain has had nearly 40,000 orders for iPhone13 product, with iPhone 13 accounting for 14%, iPhone 13 Pro Max 70% and iPhone 13 Pro 13%.

Viet Mobile retail system allows customers to buy iPhone 13 series without having to make a deposit or buy online.

E-commerce sites have also opened for sale iPhone 13 series.

Hoang Ha Mobile said the number of visits to its website increased nine times, and it got orders for more than 10,000 iPhone13 products after only a few hours. The customer’s demand far exceeded the store’s expectations.

It is predicted that retailers will be unable to satisfy local demand for iPhone 13 products in the early period. The delivery of iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max 128 GB models will be ready until November.

In the past, the demand for new iPhone series used to be very high while supply was always scarce. This year is different as officially distributed iPhone 13 series are available very early.

For hand-carried (in the country from elsewhere) iPhone 13 products, the price for iPhone 13 128 GB version has been slashed from VND25 million to VND21.9 million, equivalent to the officially distributed product. iPhone 13 mini is offered for VND18.9 million, down by VND3 million; iPhone 13 Pro at VND27.9 million, a reduction of VND4 million; iPhone 13 Pro Max 1 TB at VND43.9 million, down by VND6 million – about VND1 million cheaper than the officially-distributed product.

Thu Ky


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Rice husks: From waste to new green energy



Intensive efforts are underway with support from diverse stakeholders to promote the sustainable use of rice husks and other biomass resources for electricity and heat production throughout Vietnam.

Rice husk is a coating on rice grains that protects the seed during the growing season and this agricultural by-product is one of the largest biomass resources in Vietnam.

In 2019, the country harvested 43.8 million tonnes of rice, which generated approximately 8.8 tonnes of rice husks. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s plan, the husks will increase to 9.21 tonnes by 2025.

In the past, deemed as a kind of waste, rice husks were dumped into rivers or burned in fields, wasting a remarkable source of energy while badly affecting the environment.

The value of rice husks is being recognised nowadays. In some areas, people have increased the life cycle of rice husks by using them in livestock or as fuel, but these methods have only been applied on a small scale and have not significantly enhanced the added value of rice husks.

Rice husks: From waste to new green energy
Vietnam is expected to turn out about 9.21 tonnes of rice husks by 2025. (Photo credit: GIZ/BEM)

Since 2019, the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ) in tandem with the Ministry of Industry and Trade has implemented a bioenergy project to promote the sustainable use of rice husks and other biomass resources for electricity and heat production throughout Vietnam.

The Climate Protection through Sustainable Bioenergy Markets in Vietnam (BEM) project focuses on three action areas: 1) supporting the adjustment of a legal and regulatory framework, 2) capacity development for private sector and other relevant partners as well as financial institutions, and 3) technology co-operation and networking between Vietnamese and international businesses and universities.

Recently, GIZ’s BEM project has made strides to accelerate the use of rice husks as an alternative to fossil energy sources and increase the value chain of the agricultural by-product by processing its ash into silica.

The BEM project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative (IKI). It is part of the GIZ Energy Support Programme (ESP), which consists of a number of projects on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“With its developing agricultural economy, Vietnam has tremendous potential for utilising bioenergy resources such as sugar cane residue (called bagasse), rice husk and rice straw, or other agricultural and woody residues,” said Nathan Moore, director of the BEM project. “With the project, GIZ will support the country’s efforts in sustainable energy transition and energy diversity.”

Recently, GIZ’s BEM project has made strides to accelerate the use of rice husks as an alternative to fossil energy sources and increase the value chain of the agricultural by-product by processing its ash into silica.

The BEM project signed an agreement with Sanofi Vietnam on September 23 to support the company in implementing its “Rice is the New Green” (RING) project. GIZ will evaluate RING’s technical and economic feasibility, including the project’s potential size and cost, energy cost savings, and business models with an aim to help the enterprise power its boilers with rice-husk energy instead of diesel, and promote the value of rice husk.

Rice husks: From waste to new green energy
The signing session was conducted online. (Photo credit: Sanofi Vietnam)

“Implementing the RING project with the BEM project of GIZ will definitely be an innovative and determined step for Sanofi Vietnam on the journey to become a pioneer in the pharma industry in transforming and using renewable resources in the country, as well as its further ambition to be an ambassador to promote and replicate the rice husk biomass evolution to other enterprises to take advantage of this plentiful green energy in Vietnam, heading to a carbon-free emission future across the country,” said Eric Auschitzky, CEO of Sanofi Vietnam’s Manufacturing Division.

With the RING project, Sanofi Vietnam aims to reduce CO2 emissions by about 2,000-3,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and entirely use rice husk biomass energy in production. The BEM project of GIZ will provide technical support to Sanofi Vietnam in its transition and help Sanofi promote this development model as a typical project of the sustainable bioenergy industry in Vietnam.

“RING presents an exciting new opportunity to extend the application of biomass as an alternative to fossil fuels for heat production into new sectors in Vietnam, increasing the value chain of rice husk products, and contributing to circular economy model,” said Moore.

“Based upon our deep experience in the global bioenergy sector and our long-term support of key stakeholders in the country, GIZ looks forward to the RING project further demonstrating how bioenergy projects in many commercial sectors can contribute to Vietnam’s energy and environmental objectives,” he added.

Since its implementation, GIZ’s BEM project has supported many enterprises in Vietnam in converting their fossil-fuelled boilers to biomass-fired ones. The move will benefit a variety of aspects such as socio-economic development, climate adaptation, and energy security, contributing to the nation’s green development, increasing production surplus, and complying with the Paris Climate Agreement (COP 21) on regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8-25 per cent by 2030.

Source: VIR


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Apple takes steps to reduce “hand-carried” iPhone market in Vietnam



The market for “hand-carried” iPhones in Vietnam has been shrinking in the past two years, especially after the launch of Apple-authorized stores.

Apple quyết tâm thu hẹp thị trường iPhone xách tay tại Việt Nam
A TopZone store in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Hai Dang)

Most recently, The Gioi Di Dong or Mobile World, a big retailer in Vietnam, has announced the TopZone chain, which provides only Apple products. This retailer has inaugurated the first four stores in the country’s two largest cities – Hanoi and HCM City. It plans to open a total of 60 more stores in the first quarter of 2022.

This is a model backed by Apple, which shows Apple’s plan to enhance its presence in Vietnam. Mobile World’s TopZone is in the form of AAR (Apple Authorized Retailer) and APR (Apple Premium Retailer).

Previously, AAR stores were often combined with tech supermarkets selling technology products of many different brands. Only APR stores specialize in selling Apple products, but the number of this type of store is very small in Vietnam, with only FPT’s F.Studio chain and one eDigi store.

However, Apple has joined hands with Mobile World to launch APR and AAR chains with its own brand and independent from retailers. Earlier, some ShopDunk stores followed this model.

Not only increasing its presence in Vietnam with independent stores, Apple has also added more authorized retailers in Vietnam this year. Specifically, Minh Tuan Mobile chain recently joined the AAR group of stores specializing in genuine Apple products.

Last year, the chain of more than 30 Di Dong Viet (Viet Mobile) stores also received certification from the iPhone manufacturer to become an authorized reseller.

The two retail chains mainly provided “hand-carried” iPhone products a few years ago, but then they have become official sellers of Apple.

The fact that chains of tech-goods stores have switched to selling genuine products has made a significant impact on the market for “hand-carried” iPhone products. This move has encouraged customers to buy officially distributed products while made small shops change their minds in choosing sources of goods for distribution.

While strengthening its presence in Vietnam, Apple has taken strong action against stores providing unauthorized iPhone products. In June this year, many shops selling locked iPhones and iPhones of unknown origin were hidden on e-commerce platforms.

In 2017, Apple hired lawyers to send a request to phone stores to remove the Apple logo that they were using illegally, which can make customers think that the stores are authorized by Apple.

However, an important milestone in the market for “hand-carried” iPhone products is the issuance of Decree No. 98/2020/ND-CP in 2020, which states that individuals trading in smuggled goods will be fined from VND500,000 to VND50 million, depending on the value of smuggled goods, while the fines imposed on organizations for the same act will be VND1 million to VND100 million.

This year, the iPhone 13 series will officially open for sale in Vietnam on October 22, less than a month after developed markets. Last year, the gap of time was two months, which spurred the sale of “hand-carried” iPhones.

Hai Dang


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