October 3, 2020.- The President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, visited the Finlay Vaccine Institute on Friday afternoon, where he received an update on the clinical trials of Soberana 1, the first Cuban vaccine candidate against COVID-19.
The leader of this hopeful research project, Dr. Vicente Vérez Bencomo, general director of this prestigious scientific institution, assured that progress is being made in the clinical trial of the first two formulations of the Sovereign 1 vaccine, which already have the second dose applied and they have shown great security.
The work of our team does not stop – he affirmed – and scientific evidence constantly appears that is carefully evaluated.
Based on recent international results from different clinical trials, a very large difference has been seen between the response in animals and in humans, which has led us to design several formulations of the vaccine to be able to evaluate their immune response and decide which will be the optimal to use, he detailed.
During the meeting, Vérez Bencomo also commented on the advances that have been obtained in animals with the application of the Soberana 2 vaccine candidate, which will allow the Regulatory Authority for Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (Cecmed) to start their clinical trials during the month of October.
The researcher asserted that the work team aspires to decisively advance in the studies related to the immune response before the end of this year and maintains the intention of beginning to vaccinate the Cuban population during the first semester of 2021.
Referring to the safety of our vaccine candidates, he stressed that they are based on vaccine technology platforms that already exist and have been tested in millions of doses.
After applying the second dose of Sovereign 1 in 40 volunteers, he pointed out, the “results confirm that the adverse effects are minimal.”
During the exchange, Eulogio Pimentel Vázquez, general director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), also referred to other vaccine candidates that are developed in this famous institution of Cuban science.
As “very encouraging”, President Díaz-Canel described what has been obtained so far in these projects for life that, even though they require time for their consolidation, ratify the contributions of Cuban science to the confrontation of COVID-19 in the country.