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A team of researchers from the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences of the Universidad Nacional del Litoral ( UNL ) works together with two companies in development of proteins that can be used in a vaccine for the prevention and monitoring of coronavirus . It is also proposed to develop diagnostic, control and monitoring kits of the disease.
This Santafesina idea was selected, among other 900 proposals from across the country, presented in the Special Call for Financing to Improve Argentina's response to the pandemic . It would receive $100,000 under this framework for the implementation of the project.
Currently, various organizations from different countries are looking for solutions that can prevent or combat this coronavirus and prevent its expansion. So far there are two vaccines in the clinical phase and two other projects in the preclinical phase. It is not yet possible to foresee their results. Therefore, it is necessary to expand local capacities to implement production biotechnology in the country or imported, to curb the pandemic.
It was in this context that the team of scientists and entrepreneurs presented to the national state a project. It would quickly, simply and efficiently produce recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins for biotherapeutic and diagnostic purposes for coronavirus.
Claudio Prieto, a researcher who heads the team, says they will be able to perform tests to assess the epidemiological status of the inhabitants. Scientists talk about a biosafety vaccine , that is, that in the procedures for its production do not use viruses , as is the case of other options that bring some risks of infection.
The technology platform has highly trained staff, with extensive experience in technology development and transfer for the pharmaceutical industry; laboratory scale equipment, pilot and industrial; and cellular banks optimized for quick and easy implementation in bioreactors. They are 16 researchers found at the Litoral Biotechnology Center, belonging to the Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences of the UNL. More, eight related to Cellargen Biotech SRL companies, pre-incubated at the Faculty, and Biotecnofe S.A., incubated in the Technological Park of the Litoral Centro. The working group has a long track record in the development of other vaccines for both humans and animals. These include a rabies vaccine and one for hepatitis B. This means that they can use all the accumulated knowledge and equipment available to find solutions to coronavirus more quickly .
The proposal could produce a COVID-19 vaccine locally, as elsewhere in the world, avoiding dependence on these imports.
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Publication Date: 12/05/2020
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