A New COVID-19 Variant and a New VaccineBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Mon, 01/11/2021 - 17:29
Tamaulipas Minister of Health Gloria Molina Gamboa confirmed the arrival of a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 in Mexico. The new variant, known as B117, arrived on Dec. 29, 2020, reports Expansion Política. The carrier is a man who arrived at Matamoros from The Netherlands via Mexico City. This new variant of SARS-CoV-2 appeared for the first time in the UK in September 2020 and is now the predominant variant in the country. Local authorities report that other passengers and airline staff were notified after the positive case was reported so they could be tested, as well. All of them have tested negative, informs Expansión Política. Authorities urged citizens to be extra cautious as B117 is more contagious than the original variant.
Cofepris aprobó la fase 3 de la vacuna alemana CUREVAC en nuestro país, muy buena noticia!!— Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) January 8, 2021
In better news, COFEPRIS approved Phase 3 trials for CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to a tweet from Marcelo Ebrard, Minister of Foreign Relations, published last Friday. During an early-stage trial with more than 250 volunteers, CureVac’s vaccine produced an immune response comparable to the one found in recovered patients, informed the German company in a press release. CureVac began developing its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine in January 2020 and started Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials back in June and September, respectively. Based on its proprietary technology, the company has built a comprehensive clinical pipeline across the areas of prophylactic vaccines, cancer therapies, antibody therapies and the treatment of rare diseases, informs CureVac’s website.
Last week, CureVac announced through a press release a partnership with Bayer, in which the latter will support CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine development, supply chain and operations in selected countries. “The need for vaccines against COVID-19 is enormous. We are therefore pleased to be able to provide significant support to CureVac, a leader in mRNA technology, in advancing the further development and supply of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management at Bayer AG and President of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division. CureVac also highlighted the benefits of this alliance for the development, production and distribution of a vaccine. “We are very happy to join forces with Bayer, whose expertise and infrastructure will help us make our vaccine candidate CVnCoV even more rapidly available to as many people as possible,” said Franz-Werner Haas, CEO of CureVac.