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ARGENTINA | 11-07-2020 07:55

Argentina selected as testing site for Covid-19 vaccine

Joint project, led by German company BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, is one of 12 vaccines that are being tested on humans worldwide.

President Alberto Fernández said Friday that Argentina had been selected as a testing ground for a new vaccine against Covid-19.

"Argentina is the only country in the region where one of the testing phases for a possible covid-19 vaccine will be carried out," the Peronist leader said in a post on social media. 

The joint project, led by German company BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical laboratory Pfizer, is one of 12 vaccines that are being tested on humans (the clinical phase) across the world, according to records from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Human trials are the next stage of the project, which comes off the back of positive preliminary results a week ago on 45 participants.

The experimental BNT162b1 vaccine "is capable of generating a neutralising antibody response in humans at levels greater than or equal to those observed in convalescent sera, and does so at relatively low doses," said Ugur Sahin, chief executive officer of BioNTech, in a statement. 

"The selection of a centre in Argentina to carry out these studies was based on different factors, which include the scientific experience and operational capabilities of the team of the main researcher, the epidemiology of the disease, as well as Argentina's previous experience in conducting clinical studies," read a government statement.

The companies plan to start the first phase of studies in July, provided that regulatory approval is received quickly. Local outlets said it was more likely to begin in August.

– TIMES/AFP

 

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