The Abdala vaccine candidate, one of the four Cuban COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trial, is showing favorable results in terms of its safety and immunogenicity, according to the official media.
Developed by the Havana Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the Abdala vaccine candidate was evaluated days ago by an independent committee for the analysis of the data from its study in humans, as confirmed on social networks by Dr. Eduardo Martínez, president of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries (BioCubaFarma) Business Group, quoted by Prensa Latina (PL) news agency.
Meanwhile, the CIGB itself affirmed on Twitter that the vaccine candidate “has had constant monitoring, supervision and evaluation.” This supervision is carried out by specialized agencies, including the National Regulatory Center for Medicines and Medical Equipment, “always with favorable results,” Granma daily highlighted.
— CIGBCuba (@CIGBCuba) January 26, 2021
Abdala began on December 2 phase I of the clinical trial with 200 volunteers at the Saturnino Lora Hospital, in the province of Santiago de Cuba. The study also involves more than 40 health professionals, including doctors, nurses and laboratory workers, and at the close of this first moment it is scheduled for February 16.
This vaccine is administered intramuscularly, unlike Mambisa, also developed by the CIGB, designed for nasopharyngeal use. Both candidates have already completed the short trial cycle, “comprised on days zero, 14 and 28, and after processing the samples, they move to another longer evaluation period, zero, 28 and 56 days,” PL said.
“The first indications confer safety of the two molecules, with mild adverse effects,” Dr. Miladys Limonta, manager of the COVID-19 vaccines project at the scientific center, told the agency.
The two CIGB projects join those of the Finlay Vaccine Institute—Soberana 01 and 02—in the advance of the research carried out on the island to achieve a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which, in the opinion of Cuban scientific authorities, is “advancing positively.”
This is why Cuba hopes to start the emergency use of some of these vaccine candidates in the coming months—in particular Soberana 02, the most advanced in clinical trials and of which it plans to produce 100 million doses this year—and, with it, mass vaccination in the country.