Researchers are competing in the global race for Covid-19 vaccines

Researchers are competing in the global race for Covid-19 vaccines

In a country that is heading towards the incredible number of 15 million injured and the tragic mark of 400,000 deaths, now in May, the issue of vaccinations has become central to politicians who, this week, started the work of a parliamentary committee to inquire about one of the goals is to find the reasons why the federal government did not use vaccines .

It was already known that it was not due to a short supply of manufacturers or potential funds. Transparency portal reported that out of the 23.4 billion reais allocated by the war budget for the purchase of fortifications, only 2.22 billion reais were spent.

The reasons for this inaction were ideological, with nationalist arguments. Ideological because the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, prevented, in August, the then Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuelo, to close the Union’s participation in the purchase of 100 million vaccines from the Chinese company producing CoronaVac, in one of the most embarrassing episodes of a military man in the active army, embodied in the phrase: “ Gentlemen, it is that simple. One of them commands the other to obey, “said General Eduardo Pazuelo.

National because the government has not recognized the standard contract for the US company Pfizer, and it is not responsible for the potential side effects of the vaccine in countries where there are no research centers or partner institutions. Brazil has refused to provide 70 million doses of the vaccine.

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Without Covaxin and Sputnik V, Brazil only gets the same vaccine with Coronavac and AstraZeneca.

While Brazil decided not to do so, the world was pursuing vaccines and in the largest scientific effort outside the world war began the research, development and industrial production of 250 vaccines, which, in less than a year, had already brought in 14 WHO projects, two of which had already ended.

In addition, rich and emerging countries decided to buy what was shown despite knowing that not all bets will be successful at the right time. The United Kingdom, for example, bought from several manufacturers and started using the Pfizer vaccine, although the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed with the University of Oxford in Britain.

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Behind this race is a conflict over the market (7 billion inhabitants of the planet) and geopolitics, because successful countries open the doors of other medicines to their industries. In this scenario, Brazil also lags because its research (Botanvac, from Botantan) has not gone through a preclinical stage.

The vaccine issue embodies the problem of industrial scale and patent protection. Technically, 90 factories around the world could already produce vaccines in Phases 3 and 4 if developers allowed it. There is even a movement of nations (Brazil is not a part of it) that wants to break patents, boost production and anticipate global pollination. But this is an economic struggle that will take time.

Meanwhile, the race to produce vaccines continues. Brazil, even with its disastrous management to purchase immunization equipment, is using its most successful solutions (CoronaVac and AstraZeneca) that have fortified its population with them. And try to run after at least four other vaccinations. Including ignored Pfizer.

But it is a disaster in the face of worsening cases. In May, it is already known that the vaccine tempo will decrease because neither Fucruz nor Institut Butantan will provide sufficient doses to speed up the process.

It’s a baffling paradox. The reference country in vaccination campaigns is the most important, because it does not have vaccines and suffers an average of 60 thousand infections / day with infected people and 3000 deaths. With no possibility of reversing this trend before September.

Brazil is still below the search included

SCIENCE Government of São Paulo introduces the Butanvac Immune System, developed by Butantan Institute – Antonio Molina / Stadium Content

Although it made a great deal of hype to announce that in addition to the manufacture and distribution of Coronavac in the country, the Butantan Institute was working on the “100% Brazilian” covid-19 (Butanvac) vaccine, research on this prevention has been developed by the Icahn Medical College, From Mount Sinai University in New York, which has been working on a vaccine against the Newcastle disease virus since November.

In fact, Icahn had already put his research on the WHO panel after its solution, which had been in development since the start of 2020, had been included in the WHO panel as being in preclinical out of 186 papers in development.

Currently, the same research, in partnership with Mount Sinai University, has also been recorded by the Botantan Institute as a preclinical development ‘with inactivated total Newcastle Chimerian Disease virus (NDV), which expresses the protein in the last third of SARS-CoV-2 S stabilized with Membrane-stabilized pre-fusion (Hexapro) + CpG 1018 ”. This is the only reference from Brazil on the WHO panel available online.

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Butantan has requested Anvisa’s approval for clinical tests in Phases 1 and 2 of development, 1,800 volunteers must take Botanvac. If all goes well, Butantan will be able to start the third phase of testing, with 9,000 volunteers to ensure its effectiveness. If the vaccine is approved for emergency use, the São Paulo government plans to produce 40 million doses by the end of the year.

The Russians are showing factories for Sputnik V

disclosure
Varmandard Russia, Sputnik V – disclosure

One of the things that draw attention in the global fight to access the immune system against COVID-19 is Russia’s move to input market for drugs manufactured in Brazil.

Russia, which funded Sputnik V through the Russian Direct Investment Fund, developed by the Aesthetic Institute in Moscow, sees its vaccine as a means of geopolitical confirmation in South America.

He sold the vaccine to Argentina, but is targeting Brazil. And the Putin government wants the prestigious Brazilian Health Agency to endorse Sputnik V.

The Russian president has already complained that none of the 50 countries applying the Russian vaccine has made such demands as Brazil. But he extended the red carpet to Anvisa technicians who inspected their industries this week.

The Russian Ministry of Health received the technicians in Moscow and took them to the cities of Ufa and Vladimir. Ufa factories are a showroom for Russia’s pharmaceuticals, in partnership with AstraZeneca, Janssen, Roche, Senofi, Abbot and Novartis.

Ufa plants are owned by Varmandard, which is controlled by the Moscow-based Generium Group. The fund itself is a partner of Alium Sistema, the owner of Binnopham where vaccines are also manufactured.

Russia’s goal is to influence Anvisa and obtain approval from Sputnik V to be manufactured by União Química, whose factories Anvisa has also inspected. The strategy is to get Anvisa approved. The problem, however, is that Aesthetics did not provide Phase III studies of the vaccine, which delayed the final analysis by Anvisa. If he succeeds, then the future of the vaccine will be very promising in terms of the global market.

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The Chinese and Americans are competing for a new market

CADU ROLIM / ESTADO CONTENT
DOSES Brazil needs three times what the ministry has already guaranteed – CADU ROLIM / ESTADO CONTENT

The best place to monitor the global controversy over the research, development and industrial production of vaccines for covid-19 is the team that the World Health Organization has set up to assess competitors and their chances of success.

Today there are 14 vaccines in Phases 3 and 4. Only the two vaccines that are being applied in Brazil (CoronaVac and AstraZeneca) are ready. Some of the other 12 are already in place, such as Sputnik (Russia), Janssen, Moderna (USA), SinoFarm (China), and BharatBiontec (India). The World Health Organization classifies Stage 3 as approved for use in emergency situations.

But in the research there are 88 studies already in clinical stages ranging from 1 to 4 and another 188 studies (including Botanvac) that may evolve from the laboratory to become a novel vaccine. In other words, covid-19 research moves 272 teams of scientists around the world.

But the economic and financial battle is fierce for those who come after that list. Through the WHO panel, the United States has 18 vaccines in Phase III. China with 15 vaccines, one of which is already in Phase 4 (Coronavac). Next comes the UK with six (AstraZeneca in phase 4), India with five and South Korea also with five vaccines, all with vaccines in phase 3.

This reveals how countries with a large volume of pharmaceutical research see vaccine work in the future. It seems clear that the coronavirus has enabled an extraordinary vaccine package based on new vaccine technologies.

From conventional methods of inactivated virus, subunit protein and live attenuated viruses, new lines of research have been added such as RNA, DNA, virus vector (no replication) and even VVnr + antigen display cell research that few scientists are familiar with. .

In fact, this is a market for years to come. Since it is certain that 7 billion people on the planet will, at some point, have to get a vaccine, we have a new market of at least 12 billion vaccines in the coming years. And a new conflict between China and the United States.

Helia Sheba / C
A study, published in a previous publication, showed that vaccinations with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines were just as effective in the elderly as they were in the young – Helia Sheba / C

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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