The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation confirmed that the tests of the Phase 1 from Argentine coronavirus vaccine will start in january next year. Large-scale production, meanwhile, could start in late 2022 or early 2023.
The vaccine, called “ARVAC-Cecilia Grierson” in honor of the country’s first female doctor, “it will end at the end of 2021 with the preclinical studies”, said Daniel Filmus, owner of that portfolio. Currently, the formula, which has been shown to be effective against the virus, is in the final stage of toxicological tests.
With the completion of that stage, the development of the National University of San Martín (UNSAM), with the participation of CONICET and the Cassará laboratory, may begin to be tested in humans (phase 1), said the minister, who this week visited with his counterparts from Health, Carla Vizzotti, and Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, the laboratories of the Institute for Biotechnological Research of the University (IIB- INTECH), at UNSAM, to learn about the advances of the nationally produced vaccine.
Toxicological tests are carried out at the Comparative Medicine Center (CMC) of the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL). “Once concluded, the protocols for the Phase 1 trial, to be carried out in humans, will be sent to the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) for validation,” the ministry explained in a statement. In this phase, the safety of the vaccine will be evaluated in a small group of people. Then, in phases 2 and 3, it will be tested on larger groups of volunteers.
“We hope the development allows, with the contribution of the State and the articulation with the private sector, to be able, at the end of 2022, beginning of 2023, to scale the production to have the national vaccine”, which is intended to be used as a booster for people who have already completed their immunization schedule “and also as a primary vaccination vaccine.”
“We are working on an inter-ministerial follow-up at the instruction of the president to advance as quickly as possible in the availability of an Argentine vaccine against covid-19 in order to respond to the reinforcement strategies and also have a tool that extends this challenge to all vaccines, treatments and technological innovations. In this sense, It is about placing the State in a present and guiding role”, Said, for her part, the Minister of Health Carla Vizzotti.
The formula is based on recombinant proteins, a technology similar to that used in the Hepatitis B or HPV vaccine. Its advantages include greater stability, the possibility of avoiding conservation systems that depend on ultra-freezers, easy distribution in the national territory, and that it was effective against new variants of coronavirus.