The Cuban authorities have announced this Thursday the forthcoming start of clinical trials of two new vaccine projects against covid-19, promoted by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology of Cuba (CIGB).
One of the new vaccines is called Mambisa, and one of its two formulations is designed to be administered intranasally. The other is Abdala, which is administered intramuscularly.
The trials for each of the two projects will consist of two phases, without specifying the exact date on which the clinical studies will begin. The Mambisa project will take place in Havana, with the participation of 88 volunteers, while Abdala’s will take place in Santiago de Cuba.
The Business Group of the Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries of Cuba (BioCubaFarma), highlighted in its official Twitter profile that the country “already has four vaccine candidates in the clinical trials phase”, something that the state entity defined as “a feat” .
Indeed, the new clinical trials for Mambisa and Abdala are in addition to those already under way, those of the Soberana 01 and Soberana 02 vaccines, which began in August and October respectively.
The trials of Soberana 01, which involve the participation of more than 700 volunteers, are progressing without incident so far. Those of Soberana 02, a conjugate vaccine in which the virus antigen and tetanus toxoid are combined, have been in progress for just over a month.
The particularity of Mambisa, the intranasal vaccine
One of the two formulations of the Mambisa vaccine project focuses on achieving immunization through the nasal route, since the virus causes respiratory pathologies and its spread is carried out through the nasal epithelial cells, which are the entry point for the infection and initial transmission.
Intranasal administration favors a local response that aims to prevent colonization of the virus and transmission of the pathogen.
Mambisa will not be the first intranasal vaccine developed in Cuba. The country’s health authorities already registered in 2015 a vaccine against hepatitis B that is applied by this same route.
The Mambisa project will also develop an intramuscular formulation of the vaccine in parallel.
Rt, ElMundo, Telesur, Youtube.