The Portuguese biotechnology company Immunethep announced this Tuesday that non-clinical trials of its vaccine against the coronavirus have ended and have shown “high safety and efficacy” in a lethal infection by SARS-CoV-2.
In a statement sent to the Lusa agency, the company based in Cantanhede, in the district of Coimbra, states that in the non-clinical trials, the k18-hACE2 transgenic mice that, infected with the coronavirus, develop a disease similar to humans, were used as an animal model.
Cited in the document, Immunthep’s co-founder and scientific director states that, “through these non-clinical trials and 100% observed survival rate, it was possible to confirm the vaccine’s efficacy in lethal SARS-CoV-2 infections”.
The Portuguese biotechnology company based in Cantanhede, Portugal, had been conducting pre-clinical trials of its SILba vaccine (SARS-CoV-2 Inactivated for Lung B and T cell Activation) for several months.
“After infection with a lethal virus inoculum we found that, compared to control mice (which did not survive), the vaccinated animals had a 100% survival in animals vaccinated with the SIlba vaccine, observable in the first week after the infection, in addition moreover, they did not demonstrate any adverse effects after vaccination”, the note reads.
Since its foundation in 2014, Immunethep has been dedicated to the development of immunotherapies, mainly against multi-resistant bacterial infections, currently having ten employees.
“The realization of this project in Portugal allows the development of unique skills on a global scale in the development of vaccines and other biological products”, concludes the co-founder and executive director of Immunethep, Bruno Santos.
This official also underlines that the quick support from the government entities “is essential for us to continue clinical trials of the vaccine, in time to contribute to the resolution of the covid-19 pandemic”.
The covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 4,044,816 deaths worldwide, among more than 187.2 million cases of infection by the new coronavirus, according to the most recent report by the Agence France-Presse.
In Portugal, since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, 17,173 people have died and 912,406 cases of infection have been registered, according to the Directorate-General for Health.