An international guide to animal vaccination, the HIPRA laboratory located in Amere in Catalonia is preparing to launch its Covid vaccine. Clinical trials are due to begin in June. The firm hopes to get a European agreement in October to produce 500 million doses by 2022.
The next Covid vaccine could be 100% Catalanfrom the HIPRA laboratories located in the small town of Amer, near Girona (Catalonia). A pharmaceutical company specializing in the production of vaccines for animals began a year ago developing a vaccine for humans against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and work is very advanced now… Clinical trials should begin before summer.
Support of Pedro Sanchez
It is no coincidence that the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, came to Amer a few days ago to visit the HIPRA laboratories. Visits by Spanish ministers to this citadel of Catalan independence are quite rare. But the prime minister clearly wanted to show his support for these laboratories’ vaccine project. The Spanish authorities are already presenting him as Spain cure from Covid.
HIPRA Laboratories, an old family business with 2,300 employees today, has been acquired since the 1970s. international reputation in the development and manufacture of animal vaccines… Over the past ten years, HIPRA has developed 22 new animal vaccines.
A year ago, after the outbreak of the Covid epidemic, the company decided to start developing a Covid vaccine. “We have applied our extensive experience with animals“explains France Bleu Roussillon to Tony Maneu, who heads the new human division of HIPRA, created specifically for the serum.”For both animals and humans, these are the same studies, the same requirements, and the same approval procedures.“.
Men’s races start in Girona and Barcelona
At this stage, the research and design are completed. “We will begin the first phase of human clinical trials in June.“, – specifies Tony Maneu.” _Several thousand volunteers are recruited_… We will start with these tests in Catalonia at CHU Trueta in Girona and at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, followed by other tests in the rest of Spain, in particular Madrid and Valencia. We are also looking at clinical trials in South America and Asia.“.
Tony Maneu adds that these tests should, in particular, enable the correct dosage of the vaccine to be found and accurately estimate the efficiency… They should also allow you to know if a single dose will be sufficient or not for vaccination. At the moment, the issue has not yet been resolved.
The use of a recombinant protein guarantees an immune response and therefore good vaccine efficacy (Tony Maneu, Project Manager at HIPRA)
From the very beginning, the project was supervised by the Spanish Agency for Medicines (Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios, AEMPS), as well as the European Agency (EMA), which, according to the laboratory, is constantly updated. on the progress of the work.
The product was developed according to the “classic vaccine method” (as opposed to Pfizer or Moderna messenger RNA vaccines). Like the influenza vaccine, the HIPRA vaccine uses a recombinant protein to help stimulate the immune response against the virus. “This method guarantees greater safety to the vaccinated person. There is also an advantage in inventory management: the dose can be easier to store at 2 to 8 degrees“ explains the project manager.
HIPRA wants to start production at the end of the year
HIPRA laboratory has already opened preliminary schedule for the next few months. After completing clinical trials this summer, the company hopes to receive a final green light and marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency in October.
According to Tony Maneu, the laboratory will then be able to produce first doses at the end of the year, with a forecast of 500 million doses for 2022. Next year, in 2023, HIPRA guarantees that it will be able to sell almost one and a half billion doses. The company plans do everything in Catalonia, on its amerskom plot and its outbuildings located around Girona. To cope with this potential increase in activity, HIPRA has acquired several new sites around an airport in the Catalan city.
For laboratory teams, this new global challenge is perceived as great pride… This vaccine, if approved, will become not only the first Spanish SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, but also a Covid vaccine fully developed and manufactured in the European Union.