Spain give go ahead for Covid19 Clinical Trial volunteers
190 healthy Spanish volunteers will partake in clinical testing of a Covid19 vaccine being trialled by Johnson & Johnson owned pharmaceutical company, Janssen. These trials will be associated with three Spanish hospitals, two in Madrid, La Princessa and La Paz and the third in Santander, Marqués de Valdecilla. They have been authorised by The Spanish Agency for Medicine and Health Products as announced by Salvador Illa, Spain’s Health Minister on Friday 28th August and will begin without delay.
Further volunteers in other countries
Further volunteers, 400 in total, will take part in the clinical trials, in Belgium (where Hanssen has its head office) and Germany. Volunteers will be in two age groups, the first between 18 and 55 and the second, 65 years and over.
American and Spanish companies collaborate
With a race to find an effective vaccine for Covid19, globally, Illa was pleased to note that American biotechnology company, Moderna is collaborating with a Spanish company for mass production of the vaccine, should it prove successful. He also referred to a contract signed by the EU with British multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for in excess of 300 million doses of its vaccine for Covid19. This is the vaccine that has been developed by a team of scientists at Oxford University in the UK.
Vaccine may be ready by December 2020
The anticipated date for the initial distribution of the vaccine, safety allowing, is December, 2020, with progress so far showing positive results. Over 20,000 participants are involved in these trials in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.
Spanish scientists join race for vaccine
Spanish scientists have themselves been experimenting to create their own Covid19 vaccine but have not progressed to human trials so far. Two front runners in this field are, Barcelona’s Clinic Hospital, led by Felipe Garcia and National Biotechnology Center’s virologist Mariano Esteban.
Smallpox vaccine information being used in research
Estaban is working on the depressed adaptation of the Vaccinia virus, in use for over 40 years to wipe out smallpox together with the information derived from the genetics of SARS-VoV-2 coronavirus. His progress has suffered a setback with the scarcity of the animals used for testing, ie macaque monkeys, due to worldwide demand from laboratories in the search for a successful vaccine.
Similar research for Garcia and Moderna
Felipe Garcia is travelling a similar path to Moderna in his scientific research, basing it on genetic language. Moderna however is at the trial stage, involving 30,000 participants who receive injections of a genetic formula that instructs human cells to create purposeful proteins of Covid19. The idea is that there will be no risk to the human body as it trains its defence system. The next step would be to hugely increase the number of human participants.