Considering the progress of the work, we can rest assured that this year we will produce several Spanish vaccines. They will be very stable vaccines that can eliminate the spread of the virus and fight new variants.
From the very beginning, we knew that the development of a COVID-19 vaccine would be a race with many victorious horses. More than one vaccine is needed to ensure good protection for millions of people on the planet.
Fortunately, solutions to the extraordinary challenges of vaccine development in this epidemic have arrived earlier than expected. We have received more than five approvals and are in the final stages of testing. Science in Spain also began. Virologists and immunologists with extensive experience have started to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 in Spain very early.
Necessary and possible
Is a Spanish vaccine possible? Needed? At CSIC, the largest public research center, there are 3 preclinical projects led by researchers who have passed retirement age and decided to return to the laboratory due to a health emergency. In universities, hospitals and other research centers, six other projects have also entered the preclinical stage.
We have sufficient scientific structure to handle the design and production of vaccines so as not to rely on foreign multinational companies
When an effective vaccine is already available, doubts arise. Why do we need it? In short, there are many reasons: because more and better vaccines are needed; because it is necessary to reach all corners of the earth; and-why not say that? -Because we have sufficient scientific structure to make technological leaps and solve the problems of vaccine design and production so as not to rely on foreign multinational companies.
We know that approved vaccines can prevent the most severe symptoms of diseases and are usually very effective. But we still don’t know whether they can eliminate the spread of the virus in infected people after vaccination, so they can be improved. In order to eliminate the pandemic, we also need to eliminate transmission. We need so-called “disinfectant” vaccines.
Vaccines that can prevent transmission
Luis Enjuanes project and Isabel Sola In the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC), it is one of the most innovative institutions. They call them “synthetic virosomes” because they have eliminated the most dangerous part of the virus from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the virulence gene, the virus must infect and destroy our cells as well as allow its weapons Spreading weapons. So easy to transmit. A perfect copy of the virus, but unarmed. It went in, but it didn’t come out.
Luis Enjuanes and Isabel Sola (CNB-CSIC) created a perfect copy of the virus, but it has been disarmed
They have achieved this goal through genetic manipulation technology, and the results are very encouraging in the laboratory and in experimental animals. Since the drug is administered through the nasal cavity, antibodies are directly produced in the mucosa of the respiratory tract, so it can produce defenses and eliminate viruses, which has a high efficiency. That is, the vaccine is being disinfected. Has contacted BioNTech company for clinical trials and production projects.
Easier to enter the cell
The second Spanish vaccine project in the preclinical phase was led by Mariano Esteban, also located in CNB. It is based on the highly attenuated vaccinia virus (a virus used to eradicate smallpox), which integrates the DNA of the coronavirus protein S. The advantage is that this vaccine can enter cells more easily than RNA vaccines and is very stable.
It has been shown to be 100% effective in mice and is being produced in cooperation with the Spanish company Biofabri. Human clinical trials will begin in the spring, and the vaccine is expected to be on the market later this year.
Stable and easy to adapt to new variants
The Vicente Larraga team of the Margarita Salas Center for Biological Research (CIB-CSIC) is developing a genetic vaccine based on recombinant DNA. Larraga and his team have extensive experience in this type of vaccine. They have developed a vaccine against canine leishmaniasis, which is currently in Phase IV, commercialized and in the post-surveillance stage.
What is it based on? In the synthetic DNA molecule, it serves as a carrier for the protein S gene of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other proteins. Once in the body, the synthesized DNA will be expressed to produce viral proteins.
Mariano Esteban (CNB) team’s vaccine will start clinical trials this spring
The test using humanized mice with electroporated vaccine was very successful, because the technology allows the vaccine to penetrate cells because its efficacy has reached 100%. Now they are testing simpler and more affordable technologies that make it easier for DNA to enter cells. The pre-clinical study is expected to be completed within a few weeks in order to apply to the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Healthcare Products for the 1/2 clinical stage as soon as possible.
Industrial upgrading is the bottleneck that may be solved, which is attributed to the previous experience of canine leishmaniasis vaccines and the optimization performed by the Zendal team with in vitro and preclinical studies. The DNA vaccine has the advantage of being very stable and therefore does not require deep freezing, thereby facilitating transportation and storage. Another advantage is that if it is not effective against new variants, the vaccine can be easily redesigned in less than a month.
The vaccine of the Vicente Larraga team (CIB-CSIC) does not require deep freezing, which is beneficial for transportation and logistics
Finally, we list other national vaccine projects developed by IDIBAPS and HospitalClínic in the preclinical phase, one of which is led by Antoni Torres and the other by Felipe García. David Escors led the vaccine project of the Miguel Servet-Navarra Biomedical Foundation. At Ramon Luhr University, Salvador Poros and Cristina Fornagra, at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Jose Martinez Costas and Rafael Blasco in the United States National Agricultural and Food Research and Technology College.