Due to the wide circulation of the virus in Brazil, four candidate vaccines are being tested on 22,000 volunteers, including the one from the British company AstraZeneca, which was relaunched on Saturday, September 12th.
A wing of the National Vaccination Center, on the Oswaldo-Cruz Foundation’s campus (Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro, has been freed up to install a new production line, still wrapped in cellophane. “This is where the future vaccines against Covid-19 will be manufactured,” said the spokesperson for Fiocruz, Brazil’s largest public medical research center. In its pharmaceutical laboratories, Bio-Manguinhos and Far-Manguinhos, they are already producing many vaccines administered in Brazil.
As part of its partnership with Oxford University and the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Fiocruz hopes to one day produce the vaccines against Covid-19. In the UK, AstraZeneca announced the resumption of their trial on Saturday, September 12th, which had suspended for a week after a patient’s bad reaction.
“Our partnership is not limited to testing the vaccine,” explained Mauricio Zuma, director of the medical laboratory Bio-Manguinhos. “What really motivated us was to to obtain the benefit of technology transfer with the British pharmaceutical. Otherwise the Ministry could have simply done a commercial negotiation and bought the future vaccines.”
In June, Fiocruz became the local partner of the two British entities to organize phase III clinical trials of their vaccine. These trials are not taking place in these buildings, but in the hospital network in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. But the task is not a trivial one. More than 5,000 health professionals have to be found, all volunteers, and who will be in frequent contact with CoV-2-SARS.