Spain’s medicines agency has approved the first round of clinical trials for the Covid vaccine developed by Spanish firm Hipra, says Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
"The Spanish Medicines and Health Products Authority (AEMPS) has approved the clinical trial of the PHH-1V vaccine against Covid-19 from the (Spanish) company Hipra," AEPMS stated in a press release.
"This is the first human test of a vaccine developed in Spain."
The initial clinical trial will feature dozens of participants from hospitals across the country to test the vaccine’s safety and tolerability, as well as its immunogenicity and efficacy, according to a statement by the medicines agency.
With manufacturing bases in Spain and Brazil, Hipra stated it could produce as many as 400 million doses next year and 1.2 billion in 2023.
"Spain's medicines and health products agency has just authorised clinical tests of the Spanish COVID vaccine on humans," Prime Minister Sanchez told a news conference in Lanzarote.
Focused predominantly on the research and manufacture of veterinary vaccines, Hipra has been working on two Covid-19 jabs, Reuters reports.
One is founded on the same RNA messenger technology used in the Pfizer Moderna vaccines, whilst the other – which has just gained approval for trial – utilises a recombinant protein in the same way as U.S.-based drugmaker Novavax.
The European Union is currently using four COVID vaccines: the Pfizer jab, which forms the backbone of its vaccine rollout, as well as those produced by AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.
The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, which makes it tricky to ship and protect, whereas Hipra said its experimental vaccine can be stored at two to eight degrees Celsius which "will facilitate its logistics and distribution".
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