Image credits: Karolina Grabowska
News Article

Four Mexican Vaccine Hopefuls to Fight COVID-19

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 06/30/2020 - 12:05

In May, Mexico joined the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to support and be part of all the vaccine developments the coalition finances, as well as to present its own projects. Right now, the country has introduced four Mexican projects for a COVID-19 vaccine in order to receive investment.

  • UNAM’s Biotechnology Institute is developing a vaccine based on recombinant technology starting from zika and dengue past vaccine efforts. Experts working on the project have explained that recombinant technology is a quick method to generate new vaccines.
  • Avimex, a company focused on veterinary vaccine development, has based its COVID-19 vaccine project on a replicating vector. The director general of the company explained that the project has numerous information on human and animal innocuousness and that Avimex’s infrastructure allows it to produce five million doses per week.
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California have a vaccine project based on DNA, which is currently undergoing preclinical trials. If the project were to be funded, the alliance could produce an initial batch of 160 million doses, plus 20 million monthly doses.
  • Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro presented its project, which is based on chimeric recombinant proteins, hoping to begin preclinical trials in the upcoming weeks. Developers of the initiative have said that this type of vaccines can generate high immunogenicity.

Marcelo Ebrard, Minister of Foreign Affairs presented the initiatives and explained tat CEPI is in charge of evaluating the projects to grant investment. Despite of the result, the country will continue to be an active actor in CEPI to guarantee Mexico has access to all clinical research protocols and a tentative vaccine when there is one.

Currently, CEPI is financing nine vaccine developments, working alongside governments, pharmaceutical companies and academia to accelerate these developments. The coalition has said that it hopes to at least have three candidate vaccines to be presented to regulatory authorities to obtain a license for general use.

Moreover, Ebrard has said that Mexico is actively seeking for a quick access to the vaccine with the strongest competitors in the race. Up to date, according to a Forbes article, AstraZeneca is the strongest and more advanced competitor and the Minister of Foreign Affairs has approached AstraZeneca and its ally, the University of Oxford, seeking to collaborate and support the development. The Ministry has also approached Chinese laboratories that are showing promising advances on a COVID-19 vaccine to secure Mexico’s access and collaboration on such an important event.

Photo by:   Karolina Grabowska, Pexels
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst