Brazil will have national vaccine against Covid in 9 months, says Minister Marcos Pontes
Initiation of immunization use depends on the success of human trials and the approval of Anvisa
The first 100% national vaccine could begin to be applied to Brazilians in nine months, estimated The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), Marcos Pontes. The beginning of this application depends on the success of the research in the three phases of human trials and the subsequent approval of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
Pontes recalled that Brazil invested in 16 national immunization technologies, five of which evolved to the point of asking the regulatory body for mass testing. Of these, only one has ever received the green light.
The tests began in January in the city of Salvador (BA). Volunteers from the United States and India are also expected to participate. In all, investments in the national vaccine should add up to R$ 350 million.
The preliminary name of the vaccine is RNA MCTI Cimatec HDT, in reference to the group involved in the research. The immunizer was developed by Senai Cimatec in partnership with the American company HDT Bio Corp. with RedeVírus and MCTI financing.
This is the first vaccine with RNA replicon technology (RRNA) to have a clinical study conducted in the country. This technology allows RNA to be able to self-replicate within cells, which ensures a robust and lasting immune response with a lower dose of the vaccine.
Messenger RNA vaccines, such as Pfizer's, for example, carry the virus's genetic code into the body, and inside provide instructions for cells and the immune system to build a response and generate antibodies.
"It would be a small dose, but very efficient and able to deal with coronavirus mutations," Pontes said during an interview at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
For the minister, the investment will be worth it even if the vaccine is ready months after the harshest phases of the pandemic. "It's worth it because people who have already got vaccinated will have to revalidate the vaccines up front. And other variants may arise. With a national vaccine, we will not need to be alone in dependence on other countries", he argued.