Spanish Vaccine Can Be Adapted To New Strains In Just Four Months

Vaccination against Covid-19 continues to advance rapidly in our country, but the creation of a new Spain-brand vaccine is also advancing. The Girona-based pharmaceutical multinational Hipra announced this week that the vaccine it is developing for SARS-CoV2 has been approved by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) for testing in humans .

The keys to this new vaccine, among many others, is that it can ” reform ” before the appearance of new strains of the virus. The director of Hipra’s Human Health Division, Toni Maneu , explained to elEconomista that “in a period of four months, more or less, we could readjust the configuration to fight against future variants that may arise from Covid-19.”

This is an element that adds value to this new serum that the Minister of Science, Diana Morant , described in an interview for Cadena Ser as “an improved vaccine” . In this sense, the minister also refers to the form of preservation of the drug. Unlike those already on the market, the Hipra vaccine can be stored between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.

To get an idea, the refrigerator in our homes must be at a temperature between 4 and 6 ºC , therefore, this vaccine “can be kept in a conventional refrigerator” , they point out from the company.

This aspect facilitates “its logistics and distribution” , since a large infrastructure to transport it is not essential, so costs will be lowered “and may have a lower price than the rest of vaccines”, they assure from the laboratory. Although they still cannot advance a specific price since they have not started with production.

According to Hipra’s forecasts, if these first clinical trials of Spanish serum in humans give good results and the AEMPS issues the appropriate authorizations, they will begin with the manufacture of the vials from October at its facilities in Girona and each of them released on the market will contain a total of ten doses to be injected without the need to mix it with any other serum for inoculation.

In the first information, the company set the objective of manufacturing 400 million doses during the year 2022. But company sources have informed elEconomista that this forecast is doubled and will be around 600 to 900 million vials manufactured in next year, but with an eye to 2023, when they expect to meet the figure of around 1.2 billion doses put on the market.

In its development, the scenarios that have been raised are two, explains Maneu . The first is to “serve as a souvenir, as with the flu.” This scenario would be for countries that are already immunizing. The other scenario they propose is that of total immunity with two doses, because “there are countries that are not vaccinating yet,” recalled the director.

Human trials
These trials will start in mid-August at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and at the Hospital Joseph Trueta in Girona with a group of volunteers between 18 and 39 years old who have not had the disease or who have not received any doses of the others. vaccines available for Covid-19 .

As explained by Toni Maneu , in this first trial they already have 30 candidates but, after knowing the news of the tests, “we have received a barrage of applications,” he said.

If everything goes as expected, the next phase of trials “will already be with thousands of people”, for which between 10 and 15 hospitals in Spain will be added and they have spoken with others in Portugal and Italy . Maneu predicts that “in an optimistic scenario” the drug may be on the market in early 2022.

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