Cuba works on a needle-free Covid-19 vaccine candidate

HAVANA, Nov 3 (PL) The Cuban scientific community is currently working on a third Covid-19 vaccine candidate, the first needle-free injection that would be applied through the nasal tract.Developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), this vaccine focuses on immunization through the nasal route as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, causing Covid-19, is a respiratory disease and infects the nasopharyngeal mucosa.

Gerardo Guillen, Director of Biomedical Research at CIGB, told Prensa Latina that the immunization through the nasal route favours the development of a local response, whose objective is to prevent the disease, colonization and transmission of the pathogen.

Guillen also said that the new vaccine candidate is based on a protein from the hepatitis B virus, produced through recombinant genetic engineering in bacteria and yeast particles, whose properties also enhance the immune system.

This new Covid-19 vaccine uses, like the two others presented by the Finlay Institute, the subunit vaccine platform, based on specific proteins obtained by biotechnological methods.

The CIGB delivered this week the documentation to assess the aforementioned Covid-19 vaccine candidate after its analysis is approved by the Center for State Control of Medicines and Medical Devices.

Cuba currently has two Covid-19 vaccine candidates in the clinical trial phase (Soberana 01 and Soberana 02) and it is expected that by late 2020, the scientific community will register a fourth vaccine candidate to fight the pandemic.