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Catalonia's Hipra Covid-19 vaccine could be on the market by June

Jab has "many advantages" over others and generates more antibodies than Pfizer

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11 April 2022 02:22 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

The Covid-19 vaccine made by Catalan pharmaceutical company Hipra, which was found to generate more antibodies than the Pfizer jab, could be placed on the market by late May or early June, Spain's science minister Diana Morant said on Monday in an interview with public broadcaster TV3.

The European Medicines Agency is currently conducting a rolling review of the protein-based vaccine that is intended to be used as a booster for adults who have already been fully vaccinated with other jabs.

"Hipra is an example of a successful public-private partnership," Morant said. The Spanish government allocated €18 million towards its development.

"We wish Hipra a lot of success with their vaccine that has many advantages over others that we've already been inoculated with," she added. 

More antibodies than Pfizer

Preliminary results suggest the drug generates 147 times more antibodies two weeks after being administered as a third dose.

mRNA vaccine Pfizer, on the other hand, only seems to generate 67 times more antibodies when administered in the same conditions.

These are the initial findings from a study involving 700 people and 10 different hospitals across Spain.

The pharmaceutical is now testing the vaccine on those who received AstraZeneca's viral vector jab in Spain as well as on thousands of volunteers across Europe. 

Possible benefits of Hipra jab

Unlike the other Covid-19 vaccines that are being administered throughout the EU, the Hipra jab uses recombinant protein technology, as do certain flu shots, which simulates part of the virus and generates an immune response that protects against future infections or severe illness.

Furthermore, the vaccine only needs to be stored at 2ºC to 8ºC, making it easier to transport than the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines that must be frozen at much lower temperatures.

According to Dr. Rafel Ramos of Girona's Doctor Josep Trueta hospital, the recombinant protein may be "a bit easier to adapt to possible future variants."

With new variants and other potential biological threats in mind, researchers stress the importance of continually developing new vaccines, especially as certain segments of the population remain unvaccinated and booster shots may be needed.

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  • A volunteer receives a dose of the Hipra vaccine during trials, Girona, February 7, 2022 (by Hipra)

  • A volunteer receives a dose of the Hipra vaccine during trials, Girona, February 7, 2022 (by Hipra)

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