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Montevideo, September 28th 2023 - 10:38 UTC



Italian pharmaceuticals to be produced in Chile with Bill Gates grant

Tuesday, November 9th 2021 - 20:50 UTC
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“The grant validates the potential of our novel GRAd vector technology,” said Stefano Colloca. “The grant validates the potential of our novel GRAd vector technology,” said Stefano Colloca.

The Bill Gates Foundation has allocated a grant to Italian company ReiThera Srl to produce Chile vaccines against COVID-19, it was announced.

Funding for the program is focused on two key goals: developing next-generation vaccines capable of providing broader coverage against the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's HIV Vaccine Initiative, generating candidates that can face this virus.

The Italian-developed drug has shown seroconversion rates higher than 99% in its clinical trials, as well as in formulas to combat HIV, according to press reports.

The US $ 1.4 million fund will help manufacturing start at a Center for the Production of Vaccines and Biotechnological Therapies to be built in Parque Carén as a result of an agreement with the Universioty of Chile.

The idea is to benefit low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, who are disproportionately affected by HIV and who currently have little or no access to effective Covid-19 vaccines.

“We are delighted that ReiThera has received this grant from the prestigious Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will also allow us to access their network of highly experienced scientific collaborators,” said Stefano Colloca, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of ReiThera.

“The grant validates the potential of our novel GRAd vector technology to develop much-needed vaccines for both new coronavirus variants and HIV.
I look forward to working with our world-renowned partners as we strive to produce these new vaccines, which are expected to have a very positive impact on the lives of people in low- and middle-income countries,” he added.

Work is well underway, as ReiThera developed GRAd-COV2, a candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 based on this proprietary platform. It is a replication-defective adenoviral gorilla vector that encodes the spike protein of the coronavirus. The GRAd vector belongs to adenovirus species C, which are considered the most potent vaccine carriers and has a low seroprevalence in humans.

The safety and effectiveness of the formula have already been validated in phase 1 and 2 studies, which showed that the vaccine is well tolerated in adults, the elderly and in subjects with comorbidities, with seroconversion rates higher than 93% after a single dose and greater than 99% with two doses.

Currently the vaccine is in phase 3 studies and once it is approved for emergency use, it can be fully produced in Chile, which is estimated to occur a year from now, when the center in Parque Carén has been built and authorized to operate.

The Carén plant will have 7,000 m2 and a capacity to produce 100 million annual doses of up to five different biopharmaceutical products, such as adenoviral vaccines, biospecific antibodies, recombinant proteins, conjugates and high-demand gene therapies.

(Source: ANSA)

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