The Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo has reportedly developed a vaccine of its own against covid-19 and is awaiting clearance from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) to start clinical trials in humans.
The world-famous research centre, which is ran by the government of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, has named their new product ButanVac.
Production of the new chemical is expected to begin later this year, at the same facility where the Influenza vaccine is currently manufactured.
ButanVac will be delivered to Brazil in 2021. Great news, said the Butantan Institute Friday on Twitter.
Butantan Director Dimas Covas said that the tests should be completed by the end of 2021, and 40 million doses of the new vaccine are expected to be made available before the turn of the year.
The initiative, according to the institute, takes place within the scope of an international consortium led by Butantan and with the participation of Vietnam and Thailand. If everything goes as planned, Butantan will be responsible for producing up to 85% of the doses of the new immunizer. The idea is to supply ButanVac mainly to emerging countries.
The vaccine uses the inactivated virus technology, which Butantan masters. It is expected that large-scale production can start in May, when the institute is due to deliver the flu vaccine for this year's campaign.
Butantan already has an agreement with the Chinese laboratory Sinovac for the packaging and future production in Brazil of CoronaVac, which should not be affected by the development of ButanVac. Nor should be the construction of a new factory for the full production of the Chinese vaccine from January, according to informal sources.
Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said the main goal was to increase the supply of vaccines nationwide without depending on purchases abroad. Once again, science fills us with hope in the fight against Covid-19, he said on social media.
Butantan performed CoronaVac Phase 3 tests in Brazil. The institute has already delivered 27.8 million doses of the vaccine to the Health Ministry's National Immunization Program (PNI).
Butantan's contract with the ministry provides for the delivery of a total of 100 million doses of CoronaVac by the end of September, a deadline that Butantan hopes to bring forward to August.