Spain's Hipra gets green light for Phase II COVID vaccine trials
MADRID (Reuters) -Spain’s medicines agency has authorised Catalonia-based pharmaceutical group Hipra to test a COVID-19 vaccine it is developing on more than 1,000 volunteers, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Monday.
Hipra will carry out the so-called Phase II trial – the second stage of a three-round trial process – on volunteers at 10 hospitals around Spain, Sanchez said.
Speaking at an event to present how European Union recovery funds will be channelled into health investments, Sanchez described the vaccine development as “extraordinary news”.
“It demonstrates that Spain can position itself at the forefront of the response to COVID,” he said, adding that the government had given a 15 million euro ($17.17 million) grant to develop the drug.
Hipra, a pharmaceutical lab that mainly researches and manufactures veterinary vaccines, has been working on two COVID-19 shots.
One is based on the same RNA messenger technology used in shots made by Pfizer and Moderna, while the second, which has just received approval for trial, uses a recombinant protein like that of U.S. based drugmaker Novavax.
Hipra has said on its website that it anticipates being able to produce 600 million doses in 2022 and double that figure the following year.
($1 = 0.8737 euros)
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