SPANISH CSIC Covid vaccine could be ready to begin trials before summer
In a move that could prove to be a huge boost to Spanish tourism in the second half of the year, the home-grown Covid vaccine developed by CSIC could be ready to move into the live trials stage before the summer, team director and virologist Mariano Esteban told Spanish daily Efe on Friday, April 9. CSIC has already submitted its documentation to the Spanish Medicines Agency, which “has demonstrated one hundred per cent protection in mice against SARS-CoV-2.” The results have been so positive so far that the company BioFabri, of the Zendal Group, is already making preparations to produce the jab once it’s approved.
“In Spain we had human and technological capital, previous experience and sufficiently prepared personnel, we knew what had to be done but we lack the infrastructure to move forward as quickly as in other countries,” explained Mr Esteban, who has just been awarded the Castilla y León 2020 Prize for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation.
Now the company has confirmed that the vaccine, based on a variant used to treat smallpox, could be ready for clinical trials in the coming weeks. Once it is given the green light by the Spanish Medicine Agency, the jab will begin three stages of testing: the first with a very low number of patients to ensure its safety, the second phase consisting of “hundreds of Volunteers” moving up to the third and final stage of testing, where “thousands” of people will be vaccinated.
Although the virologist is disappointed that the trials haven’t started sooner, another vaccine in development can only be good news for Spain’s vaccination schedule, which has stepped up a gear in April and is racing towards Pedro Sanchez’s goal of achieving herd immunity by September.
The European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, recently visited the site of a new Janssen plant in Barcelona. The Sant Joan Despi plant, operated by pharmaceutical company Reig Jofre, will begin manufacturing the new one-jab vaccine in June and will be capable of turning out one million doses a day.