The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given its approval to the Covid vaccine developed by the Hipra laboratory, the Spanish vaccine against the coronavirus that caused the most recent pandemic. When three years have passed since the pandemic and two years since vaccination began, it might be thought that this fact is no longer relevant. Will be an error.
A new vaccine. The Committee for Medicines for Human Use has recommended the approval of the Bimervax vaccine, the vaccine created by the pharmaceutical company Hipra, the first treatment to come out of Spain in order to immunize the population against various variants of SARS-Cov-2, the virus cause of Covid-19.
As indicated by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) in its statement, the vaccine will be administered as a booster dose in people over 16 years of age who have already received their full regimen with an mRNA vaccine.
The health authorities consider that, in view of the clinical trials, the new vaccine is safe and shows a level of efficacy similar to that of Comirnaty, the serum created by Pfizer and BioNTech. The new treatment showed even higher antibody generation against the beta and omicron variants.
How does it work. To do this, the vaccine makes use of a heterodimeric recombinant protein that associates with the S proteins of the virus. Thus, the vaccine is capable of generating the immune response, that is, the production of antibodies that will ultimately be in charge of fighting the virus when it enters the human body.
As explained by the AEMPS, the antigen is also accompanied by an adjuvant to increase the immune response. Adverse reactions and side effects are comparable to those of other compounds, and include pain at the puncture site, headache, tiredness, and muscle pain.
And what else gives? It might be thought that the vaccine is late. And in a sense you would be right, but this is one of the cases where getting there is almost as important as getting there first. In the first place, since in drug development, failure is the usual pattern: only 10% of the treatments that reach the clinical trial phase end up passing it.
This is great news for the Spanish pharmaceutical industry. As the Minister of Science and Innovation, Science and Innovation, explained yesterday, only seven countries can boast of having managed to “host” the development of a coronavirus vaccine. Development is also the result of cooperation between the company and public institutions.
To this we must add that, in the more general context of drug development, three years of work can be considered a short period of time. The experience gained by researchers, laboratories and institutions will probably make it easier for future development of vaccines and other treatments.
A global immunization. It should also be remembered that although vaccination in developed countries ended more than a year ago, there are many countries where access to vaccines is much lower. One of the various reasons for this fact is the difficult logistics involved in some of the vaccines developed in early stages, with very low storage temperatures.
End the stigma. Spanish science and technology still suffer from a certain stigma. The success of this treatment is therefore important to overcome certain barriers, not so much in order to face the challenges of the present but with a view to the future. It is not known if this future will imply new pandemics or other kinds of diseases, the ability to react and innovate will be, in any case, of great importance.
In Xataka | For years, the threat of persistent COVID has been on the table: now we have the data and it brings good news
Imagen | Steven Cornfield
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