Last week, the Instituto Butantan, one of Brazil’s main scientific entities, presented the first results of the only vaccine against Covid-19 and influenza, which is still in the testing phase on animal models. According to Butantan, the immune system has shown a better and longer-lasting immune response against both diseases than current vaccines and should be tested in humans within a year.
“The only candidate vaccine in the testing phase in animal models that, after immunization, produced antibodies that reacted to the three influenza virus strains (H1N1, H3N2 and B) as well as SARS-CoV-2. The immunizing agent is based on the formulation of a vaccine against Covid-19. , which is being developed by Butantan and will be produced entirely in Brazil, and the influenza vaccine, which is also produced by the institute and which provides the National Immunization Program (PNI)”, says .. Butantan consultant.
“The first results are very promising. The production manager of Butantan, Ricardo Oliveira, explains that it is working on the production of antibodies against influenza and the production of antibodies against the Covid-19 virus.
According to Oliveira, vaccine studies are still in their early stages, in what’s called proof-of-concept, the period in which analyzes and non-human samples are collected with results presented. In view of the positive developments, the director sees the possibility of starting clinical trials, that is, human trials within a year. “The history builds on the institute’s expertise in producing another immune system against Covid-19, whose human trials began exactly one year after the proof-of-concept was completed,” he adds.
“What facilitates the process is that we mix well-known butantan products: the influenza vaccine, which we have known for many years, and another immunizing agent, although very recent, that uses the same platform as influenza,” Oliveira confirms – studying this interaction and performing stability exams and the first results are good The director continues.
A more long-lasting immune response than existing vaccines
According to Butantan, this first phase of feasibility studies for the combined vaccine showed that it works against the coronavirus and influenza and goes well beyond that: it has shown, in initial indications, that it “can have a more robust and sustained immune response” than its predecessors. “Current vaccines,” he adds.
This was pointed out by Butantan Bioindustrial Center’s scientific researcher, Paulo Lee Ho, who is directly involved in the study. “The results are excellent because we see that it works, and we see the response is much better because we include an adjuvant that provides more effective protection against both antigens,” he asserts.
“The introduction of an adjuvant produced by butantan itself, called IB160, which is very similar to the adjuvant used in the seasonal influenza vaccine, has the added advantage of requiring less antigens in the vaccine formulation, which increases the ability to produce doses using the same The amount of antigens produced, which is important in times of epidemic and also in view of the possibility of boosting vaccination,” the institute explains.
“[A inclusão do adjuvante] It improves the response not only in terms of quantity, but also in antibody quality. The study indicates that this inclusion can increase the time to produce these antibodies and that the immune response can last longer, and be more effective without altering safety,” highlights Paulo.
Brazilian technology vaccine
The only vaccine being studied is a partnership with international organizations with Butantan through the new vaccine against Covid-19 that is being developed at the institute and that uses inactivated virus technology, which, in addition to being one of the most studied and safe vaccines in the world, “is characterized by The vaccine is a low-cost vaccine produced from embryonated eggs, which could change the way developing countries fight SARS-CoV-2.”
The strategy aims to take advantage of the industrial capacity already installed in the country, and in this case, a plant for the production of monovalent influenza antigens to produce a vaccine against Covid-19, using national inputs, unlike other vaccines that use farm media and reagents that are expensive and contested in a pandemic scenario. . If proven safe and effective in tests with volunteers, this immunization has the potential to increase the current supply of vaccines against Covid-19 by more than one billion annually, especially in developing countries,” concludes the Putantan Institute.
With information from Putantan Institute
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