Federal University of Rio de Janeiro develops vaccine

The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) is developing a vaccine against covid-19 and should request, later this month, authorization from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to start clinical trials in humans. The team is led by Professor Leda Castilho, from the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering (Coppe).

According to the Brazil Agency, the tests with the vaccine, called UFRJVac, in animals were promising, according to the professor.

“The vaccine is going through the last stages of animal studies, which are what we call pre-clinical studies. And, if all goes well, it should enter clinical trials, which are trials on human volunteers, by the end of this year,” he said.

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According to the researcher, the vaccine developed by UFRJ uses the same technology as other immunization agents already available for the Brazilian population.

“The vaccine is based on the use of a copy of the protein that covers the surface of the virus. It is a protein that we call recombinant. There are other vaccines that have been used for many years, including in newborns, in the elderly, which are also based on this recombinant protein technology. An example is the hepatitis B vaccine, which has been widely used since the 1980s, and the HPV vaccine, used in children and adolescents since 2007, and also a flu vaccine, which is used in the elderly in the worldwide, annually, since 2013,” explains the professor, who also emphasizes that the technology is easily applicable to other variants of the coronavirus.

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The initial forecast would be for the documents to be sent to the agency by the end of the year, but the institution believes that the request will still be analyzed in August.

Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro

Edition: Jaqueline Deister

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