ButanVac, the first 100% national vaccine against covid-19 announced today (26) by the Butantan Institute, has an important differential in relation to the two immunizers currently in use in Brazil. It will be applied in a single dose, which in theory may speed up the vaccination of the population.
In development for a year, it uses the same technology applied in the production of the flu vaccine, also manufactured by the institute. In this system, an inactivated viral vector containing the coronavirus Spike protein is used to induce the body’s immune response.
Another similarity with the flu vaccine is the cultivation of strains in chicken eggs, eliminating the need to purchase imported inputs, material required for the production of CoronaVac and the Oxford vaccine. That way, production would be cheaper and faster.
According to the director-president of the Butantan Dimas Covas Institute, the new vaccine is effective against the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus, which emerged in Manaus, which has become the dominant one in the country, causing the explosion of cases in recent weeks.
40 million doses by the end of 2021
The ButanVac phase 1 and 2 clinical trial in humans will start as soon as authorization is given by the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). These phases, which serve to assess the safety and immune response of the formula, will have the participation of 1,800 volunteers.
Then, phase 3 of the study takes place, which requires a new authorization from the body and will involve 9 thousand participants. In it, it is possible to verify the effectiveness of the immunizing agent in humans – animal tests have shown promise.
It is expected that 40 million doses will be delivered later this year, if ButanVac is approved by the agency. The production of the new formula will not interfere with the filling of CoronaVac, also carried out by the institute, according to Butantan.